Three Southwest PA Projects Receive Prestigious Commonwealth Awards for Sustainable Development

October 24, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 24, 2011 

Three Southwest PA Projects Receive Prestigious Commonwealth Awards for Sustainable Development 

Contact: Jack Machek,, 717-234-6070 

Pittsburgh – Three development projects that are revitalizing Southwestern Pennsylvania communities, spurring economic development, catalyzing private investment, and serving as models of sustainable development received Commonwealth Awards at 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania’s recent annual awards event. 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, the state’s leading Smart Growth advocacy organization, honored these three projects in the region, as well as 16 others from across the state, with it prestigious awards this year. 

The Commonwealth Awards is a juried statewide program honoring smart growth projects from across the Commonwealth. 10,000 Friends invited submissions from companies and organizations that produced a wide range of project types—urban infill, historic preservation and rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, Brownfield redevelopment, traditional neighborhood development, public infrastructure, farmland preservation, and revitalization plans. 

Smart Growth strategies build suburban, urban, and rural communities that have more transportation options; have more housing and recreational choices; are closer to job opportunities, shops, and schools; support the local economy; are more energy efficient and independent; and help protect green space, clean air, and clean water. 

“The Commonwealth Awards honor outstanding examples of smart growth projects here in Pennsylvania,” said Jack Machek, President and CEO of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania. “We received a record number of submissions this year, and it’s very encouraging to see so many smart growth projects succeeding as many sectors of the construction industry are struggling to rebound. 10,000 Friends is proud to showcase the companies and organizations working to build stronger towns and communities across the state.” 

The awardees include: 

US Route 30 Master Plan (Westmoreland County, PA) received a Commonwealth Award in the Plans and Planning category. The US Route 30 Master Plan was a three-stage, multi-phase project. 

The intent of this planning effort was to prepare an action-oriented land use and transportation plan for US Route 30 over its entire length in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. This strategic blueprint is intended to guide the cost-effective implementation of future community and economic development initiatives. It includes a comprehensive land use and transportation management strategy for the implementation of consistent development regulations and programming capital improvements along the approximate 40-mile corridor. 

“This project is worthy of an award because the plan is action-oriented and creates a 'Master Plan Implementation Toolkit,'” the jury said. “The planning effort was multi-faceted in that the plan creates: transportation and traffic improvement recommendations, construction design guidelines, and a model zoning overlay district for Route 30, to positively impact traffic, building uses along the highway, and the look of buildings built along the highway in a coordinated fashion. The jury is very impressed that the plan deals with the root cause of traffic congestion by looking at vehicle trip generation.” 

Edgewater at Oakmont (Oakmont, PA) received a “Building a More Perfect Commonwealth” Award – for model smart growth projects still under construction. 

This project is redeveloping a 34-acre urban riverfront Brownfield. It’s a traditional residential development with a mix housing densities – from single-family homes and condominiums. Although predominately residential in nature, the project also incorporates neighborhood retail and commercial elements and substantial quality recreational opportunities, including a riverfront park. 

“This project has many noteworthy features including: a site design that connects to existing street grid, mixed use re-use of a riverfront, a Brownfield site with a mix of uses complementing and connecting to existing business district and newer streetscape, a waterfront that’s opened up to the public through park space,” the jury said. “It will also create $3 million a year in new tax revenue for local governments at existing tax rates.” 

Maple Street Estates (Uniontown, PA) received a “Building a More Perfect Commonwealth” Award – for model projects still under construction. 

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Uniontown (RACU) is presently constructing Maple Street Estates, 10 new single-family detached for-sale homes within walking distance of the central business district of the City of Uniontown in Fayette County, Pa. The Maple Street site formerly features 12 vacant and dilapidated homes that were purchased and demolished by the RACU to make way for this new development. The development makes use of the existing infrastructure, including all public utilities. 

“This mixed-income infill project is worthy of a Commonwealth Award because it has been an extremely cost effective construction. It effectively shows how redevelopment projects can gain momentum,” the jury said. 

10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania is the leading advocate in Pennsylvania for responsible and efficient land use. Our vision is to have a positive impact on the built and natural environment through efficient land use. Founded in Southeastern Pennsylvania in 1998, 10,000 Friends has aligned and supported organizations and individuals from across the state committed to land use policies and actions that enable Pennsylvania to strengthen its diverse urban, suburban, and rural communities and reduce wasteful and inefficient land consumption. For more information visit:       

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