About Scenic Pittsburgh

Scenic Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization that protects, enhances, and promotes the scenic beauty – both natural and built – of southwestern Pennsylvania. Our work is focused on the nexus where economic development, community health, and environmental and historic preservation meet.  

Since our founding in 2010, we have become the foremost advocate, authority and champion of scenic preservation in this region.

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.

Read our statement about the connection between social and racial justice and scenic 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.