View of CMU and the Carnegie Museums from the Cathedral of Learning, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Jimmy · Lin’s photostream

After almost two years of work and dozens of community meetings with neighbors in Oakland, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill, Carnegie Mellon University’s ambitious 10-year Master Plan was unanimously approved by City Council at the end of April. This plan builds on the strengths and successes of the 2002 plan and is the second CMU Master Plan that I’ve had the opportunity to mediate and lead, and one of many that I’ve been intimately involved in throughout my time on Council as both a staff member and an elected official. The plan includes hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment into the campus and will create high-quality jobs in a variety of sectors including construction, academia, and technology while still balancing those changes with the quality of life and character of the surrounding residential neighborhoods and commercial business districts. 

Hamerschlag Hall and Cathedral of Learning, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from sksachin’s photostream

Some of the highlights of the plan include a new $70 million nano-bio-energy technologies facility, new academic buildings and improvements to existing buildings, additional student housing facilities, and a proposed hotel. While facilitating the expansion of an institution of higher-education is never easy and requires a great deal of give and take with the community, CMU and representatives of the surrounding neighborhoods and business districts worked together in good faith and achieved a model outcome which should serve as an example for other neighborhoods and other cities. Pittsburgh and the surrounding region will benefit greatly from enhanced capacity at the university and the surrounding neighborhoods will retain the character that makes them special for the people that call them home. I want to personally thank all of our partners in the community and at CMU for working so hard to make this Master Planning process a success. Click here to download the Master Plan.

Walking to the Sky #1, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from daveynin’s photostream