Trees and greenspace are a huge part of what we regard as scenic beauty. Study after study shows that communities near these scenic resources – even if it’s just a few trees, or a small parklet – boast better health for their residents, higher property values, and more thriving business districts. Unfortunately, the opposite also holds true: disadvantaged neighborhoods tend to have fewer trees and greenspaces, and suffer from increased rates of flooding and the “heat island” effect as a result.
But as we’ve seen in cities and towns across our 10-county area, southwestern Pennsylvania has A LOT of unused green space. Often these potential spaces aren’t suitable for housing or business development, either because the lots are irregularly shaped or because they are steeply sloped. So these spaces move from tax-delinquent to city or borough-owned properties, becoming more overgrown over time and playing host to illegal dumping and trash piles.
These are the spaces Scenic Pittsburgh is focused on making community scenic assets. Our priority is on cleaning up these spaces and making them accessible quickly, without a lengthy development process or elaborate amenities. We feel that the faster these places can be returned to be used by the community, the better.
We have been working toward making our Fineview greenspace accessible for a couple of years, and we are hoping to open it to the public some time in 2021.