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Wilkinsburg Plans Development of Vacant Lots

Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation (WCDC) is working to transform several vacant lots to create greener, more usable community spaces.

Last September through November, the WCDC worked with seven landscape architecture students from the Pennsylvania State University to create designs for vacant lots in the borough’s business district. After visiting the community and gathering input from residents, the students developed designs for pedestrian tunnels, the South Avenue/Wood Street lot, the Gazebo Park on Wood Street, and the Wilkinsburg Train Station.

Youth involved in FUSE, a local organization that provides artistic and authentic learning experiences for urban youth, also worked with the WCDC and Penn State students. Christine Carnevali, co-founder of FUSE, said she was impressed with the experiences the FUSE participants were able to have. “The kids and young adults were able to visualize their community in more functional, green and aesthetically pleasing ways,” she said. “It brought them more in touch with their community and provided them with confidence.”

In addition, Pittsburgh design firm Moss Architects is developing a plan for the Penn Avenue Parklet, which includes a performance stage, benches, walkways, and green space. The WCDC hopes to administer these plans in the future.

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation was formed in June of 2008 with a mission to revitalize Wilkinsburg and surrounding areas through business and residential development, organizational and individual civic leadership, and cultural enrichment.

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