Beautiful and historic bridges are part of SWPA's scenic legacy.

Scenic Pittsburgh

About Scenic Pittsburgh

Scenic Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization that protects, enhances, and promotes the scenic beauty – both natural and built – of southwestern Pennsylvania. We empower SWPA communities to preserve beauty as an economic, social and public health asset so that they can thrive now and into the future.

We serve the following 10 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.

We work with any community in our 10-county region that needs our support, but our most intense outreach efforts are focused on communities that meet federal and state criteria for being low- to moderate-income.


What we mean when we say we’re “Pro-Beauty”

We believe:

  • Everyone deserves to live, work and play in a beautiful place. Access to scenic beauty should not be a luxury reserved only for some communities, but is a necessity that all communities can benefit from.
  • Beauty is good for business. A scenic, healthy community that retains its unique character is better equipped to compete in a thriving economy. Scenic resources are economic resources.
  • What makes our communities unique is also what makes them economically competitive. Our storied history, our scenic views, our beautiful architecture, our local attractions and well-loved businesses and institution: all these are economic resources, and should be supported and recognized as such.
  • Scenic resources are also health resources. Parks, greenspace, flower gardens, urban farms, civic space, attractive facades, walkable neighborhoods, public art: all these offer a bounty of proven mental and physical health benefits to the surrounding community.
  • Property values are tied to scenic resources and scenic access. Billboards and other forms of blight take their toll on the value of homes and businesses nearby, while improvements in scenic resources can greatly increase their value.
  • Zoning is the best tool available to communities to determine their character. Economic development does not have to come at the expense of scenic beauty or good design. Communities can head off problems by having a solid, up-to-date zoning code in place.
  • Good design is contextual. Whether it’s transportation, housing, business or greenspace, design that takes the history, surroundings and style of the community into account will be more scenic and more likely to be used by the community.

What are Scenic Resources?

When we say we’re dedicated to protecting and preserving the scenic and historic resources of SWPA, what do we mean? What qualifies as a scenic resource?