Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Getting to Zero with State of Place! Using Smart data & predictive analytics to create more walkable, safer streets for all.

Today, we quantify walkability and tie it to economic value. Tomorrow, with Pittsburgh, we'll predict urban design changes that save lives.

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
75 35

Written by

Purpose, Overview, and Proposed Value: State of Place aims to help the City of Pittsburg cost-efficiently and effectively achieve its Vision Zero goals, while encouraging walking and biking, making travel more pleasurable and safe, and enhancing economic development to boot. To achieve this aim, we will utilize and enhance our existing Smart data and predictive analytics platform to quantify the relationship between the built environment and road safety, recommend optimal urban design changes to make places more pedestrian and bike friendly, and make the investment case for doing so. The end product will be the addition of a “safety module” to our existing Software as a Service platform that will allow the City to use data and predictive analytics to make places better at every stage of the citymaking process: from supporting public-generated ideas; to prioritizing specific blocks, neighborhoods or districts; to identifying the most needed urban design changes; to informing and evaluating future requests for proposals - both for planning and development; to more effectively communicating the rationale for a proposed plan, development, or capital improvement - both in terms of design details and money spent; to successfully securing approvals, funding, and buy-in; to objectively marketing its walkability, mobility, and livability successes; and to adopting standardized performance metrics to evaluate existing projects and identify areas for improvement. 

Pittsburgh would be joining the 22 other cities and developers already using State of Place - and it would be the first to access our new Safety module co-created with the City as part of the City of Tomorrow program. Specifically, the City's Vision Zero program would not have to rely - as so many other citymaking processes do - on intuition, gut, or static data to make decisions regarding life and death. And because they would be able to produce both the safety and economic rationale for proposed design interventions, plans would actually get seamlessly approved, funded, and rallied around by citizens. Finally, overall, State of Place can be used by multiple departments in the City besides our initially proposed partner within the Mobility department, including planning, economic development, capital improvements, city management, and other departments, allowing for standardization, efficiency, and enhanced communication internally.  

We would like to note that our solution addresses a mix of both opportunity areas #2 and #3 in that State of Place - by helping identify, prioritize, and economically justify urban design changes that will have the biggest bang for the buck impact on walkability clearly helps to make walking, biking  - and even transit use (as many people walk/bike to transit and enhancing the pedestrian and bicyclist realm makes transit even more likely to be used) - more fun, enjoyable, and may we add, SAFE! Additionally, as opportunity #3 lays out, State of Place helps create awesome - people-first - places people love, in which they absolutely feel respected - at the very least - but even more so, can feel joyful! State of Place clearly helps enhance the experience of getting from place to place as well, including walking on a sidewalk, crossing an intersection, biking, waiting at a bus stop, and all parts of Pittsburghians' journeys! 

State of Place - the basics: State of Place is a Smart data and predictive analytics platform that quantifies what people love about places and automatically recommends ways  to make them more walkable, livable, sustainable - truly Smarter. We do this in five key ways. 

  1. First, data on over 290+ "micro-scale" urban design features – like sidewalks, benches, plazas - is aggregated into a score from 0 – 100 called the State of Place Index, using our IP, based on over 20 years of research. 
  2. The software then breaks down the Index into ten urban design dimensions - like traffic safety, pedestrian/bike amenities, and connectivity. An area's score along these ten dimensions - empirically known to influence our decisions to walk, to bike, of where to live, etc. - make up called the State of Place Profile, which helps communities understand its existing assets and needs - or what’s working and what’s not from an urban design perspective.  
  3. Next, because the State of Place Index and Profile are tied to higher commercial and residential real estate values, along with pedestrian volumes, the software prioritizes changes most likely to lead to specific outcomes that are most important to a community - like increasing retail revenues, pedestrian and bike flows, or (as a result of this pilot), actual road safety rates. 
  4. Then our fun SimCity scenario analysis tool allows citymakers to model out how proposed urban design changes would increase the State of Place Index and Profile. 
  5. Finally, our Forecast feature then shows how increases to the State of Place Index and Profile would impact real estate premiums, calculates the potential value-captured from the improvements to urban design, and finally estimates what the total return on investment (ROI) would be for a given project. 

Together, the scenario analysis and forecasting tools allow citymakers not only to find projects with the biggest impact on walkability and livability, but also ones that deliver the highest "bang for the buck" while communicating the investment case - in terms of actual ROI - for making places better. This eliminates two key pain points for citymakers - 1) making the most efficient use of limited resources and still deliver effective outcomes and 2) getting the approvals, funding, and buy-in needed to actually get projects done! 

State of Place & Pittsburgh - our vision: Given that every 25 seconds, someone dies in a traffic collision, it is clear that strategies such as Vision Zero are in dire need. However, while the movement pertains to be data-driven and transdisciplinary in theory, based on our analysis of the 35 U.S. Vision Zero cities, in practice, most cities focus on enforcement and education and those that integrate urban design approaches lack the data and/or analytics needed to identify what urban design changes would be most effective at eliminating road deaths (or getting to Zero). While more data-driven than most other citymaking efforts, Vision Zero decisions are still top-down, ideologically-based, expert-led, and mostly based on intuition, gut, or case studies (from other cities). State of Place is already helping to transform the citymaking process into a bottom-up, evidence-based, data-driven one by tying urban design to economic value. We now see a huge opportunity to enhance the work of Vision Zero cities by tying State of Place to actual road safety - including motorist, pedestrian, and bicyclist injury and fatality rates. While we understand the team leading Pittsburgh's Vision Zero action plan is still in its early stages, we strongly believe this is the optimal time to adopt the data-driven, holistic urban design focus that State of Place can offer. 

To that end, we would like to work with Pittsburgh to become the first Vision Zero Smart city to adopt the customized “State of Place Safety” module that ties State of Place to traffic accident rates. The “State of Place Safety” module would enable Pittsburgh to be the first city to have a customized predictive analytics software that not only addresses how to improve urban design in known accident hotspots, but  could also be used to predict near misses (future incidents and safety issues) in other parts of the city. Below are the primary activities we would undertake to achieve this goal.

State of Place & Pittsburgh - the plan: 

  1. Data Collection: Currently, our data is collected by trained human raters and it takes approximately 20-25 minutes to collect data for each block. (It is important to note that we are actively working on automating this process using visual machine learning, and aim to complete a test of this framework - outside of this proposed pilot - in the next six months. If successful, we may also deploy it within the proposed pilot, but it is not critical to achieving the aims of the proposed pilot). Accordingly, we will collect data via a combination of a) crowdsourcing, focusing on recruiting local residents and city staff and training them to become certified “State of Place Raters” and b) our own in-house data collection team (as we understand this is the biggest potential risk of our plan, we are committed and are able to provide complementary data collection to ensure on-time, satisfactory delivery of data). Additionally, we will hold a high profile launch event around our data collection efforts to get the community excited, aware and knowledgeable about walkability, safety, and the City of Tomorrow program objectives. 
  2. Hotspot Sampling: We will analyze the City of Pittsburg's existing traffic collision data to identify hotspots and incident areas, extract their current Walk Scores, and conduct a stratified random sample based on the hotspot/incident areas' collective average and standard deviation. This will help ensure that the data we collect from this sample of blocks and intersections is representative of the full "population" of hotspots/incident areas throughout the entire City so that any findings we derive from our sample can be applied to all of Pittsburgh. We estimate this will amount to about 60-100 hotspots/incident areas, and will constitute approximately 600-800 blocks.
  3. Control Sampling: To help establish a basis of comparison, we will also identify 30 "non-hotspots" that "match" 30 existing hotspots/incident areas' Walk Scores, and collect State of Place data for these blocks/intersections as well, amounting to about 180 blocks total.
  4. Data Analysis: Using a combination of linear and logistic regression analysis, we will analyze the relationship between the State of Place Index and Profile and road safety rates, including motorist, pedestrian, and bicyclist injury and fatality rates to understand how urban design influences safety and which urban design features matter most. 
  5. Deliver State of Place Index & Profile: We will upload the State of Place data into the software platform, enabling the City to access the State of Place Index and Profile within the software itself. State of Place's highly visual and spatially integrated software will help the City intuitively understand current hotspots/incidents and control blocks current overall walkability as well as their assets and needs across the ten urban design dimensions.
  6. Onboarding: State of Place will onboard City users to use the State of Place software to ensure customer success. The City will have access to all 5 existing features of the software as well as all of its data. 
  7. Safety Module Integration: State of Place will integrate the safety module into the existing State of Place software platform 
  8. Prioritization: With guidance from State of Place, the City will use our prioritization feature to identify changes most likely to lead to a variety of outcomes, including improved safety, increased pedestrian volumes, and a number of real estate values.
  9. Scenario Analysis: With guidance from State of Place, the City will use our SimCity scenario analysis feature to run unlimited scenarios to quantify how recommended changes will increase the State of Place Index & Profile. State of Place will also provide specific recommendations for what urban design changes to model using the scenario analysis feature.
  10. Forecast Analysis: With guidance from State of Place, the City will use our forecast analysis feature to quantify how different Scenarios identified would impact real estate values, safety rates, value-capture, and ROI.
  11. Reporting: Prepare a report of findings and analysis, generated both automatically by the software and manually as needed by the State of Place team, which will summarize recommendations and impact of identified urban design changes and scenarios, delivered to decision-making bodies to inform the Vision Zero action plan.
  12. Case Study: With the help of the City, create a case study of the project, which includes shareable content and disseminate via profile-raising channels.

State of Place & Pittsburgh - after the "honeymoon (pilot)": After successfully integrating the new Safety module into the State of Place software, we anticipate creating a contract with the City for an ongoing subscription, in which we would continue to collect data on the non-sampled hotspots and incident areas, as well as areas that contain characteristics similar to that of existing hotspots, and eventually the entire city. The city would be able to access all features of the software, including the forecast ROI and safety features, to inform continuing Vision Zero strategies and related design changes, attain approvals and funding, and engage and educate the community. 

Additionally, as our forecasting methodology is flexible and adaptable, we could work with the City to continue to expand the outcomes we predict to include greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, well-being, health care costs and outcomes, and other factors related to the built environment. Having such a robust forecasting module can help inform various City departments regarding the costs and benefits of potential urban design and capital improvements, while always having a transparent, objective mechanism to relay the City's rationale to the community and further engage them in the citymaking process. Finally, as we aim to continue to expand State of Place nationally and internationally, having access to their data will help put Pittsburgh on the map - literally and figuratively - and facilitate the "objective marketing" of the walkability, livability, and sustainability of the City.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Our ideal customer would be the Director of Mobility and Infrastructure at the City of Pittsburgh, Karina Ricks, who has stated she wants “to achieve zero traffic-related injuries or fatalities on our public streets, and that begins with making our streets much safer for all users," especially those most vulnerable - pedestrians, the elderly and minors. We believe Ms. Ricks can use State of Place to identify neighborhoods at highest risk of collisions; prioritize urban design changes that will improve safety and accessibility of all users - especially those most vulnerable; and quantify how those changes would actually improve walkability, increase safety rates, and boost ROI. State of Place will allow Ms. Ricks not only to cost-efficiently achieve her vision, but also ensure Vision Zero’s effectiveness and actually get approvals, funding, and buy-in for projects, by providing a data-driven, investment case for awesome, people-first, safe places.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Ready to Scale - you have completed and expanded your pilot and are seeing adoption of your solution by your intended user

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

www.stateofplace.co/vision - Inspired by growing up in the auto-dominated Miami suburbs, CEO/Founder and walkability thought leader Dr. Mariela Alfonzo, founded State of Place in 2016 (built upon academic roots dating back to 2003) to advocate for better places and use data to make awesome places people love. State of Place, a minority/women-led team of urban planners and data-geeks with over 20 yrs of experience has serviced over 20 citymakers, including Swiss Railways and backed by NSF's SBIR.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Building upon the existing State of Place software and internal team resources (including data collectors), we will use Challenge funding to support team capacity and time, R&D, and software development: Discover Insights (Customer and Community): 3 weeks Define Research Plan (Conduct Sampling and Data Collection): 1.5 mos Develop Safety Module (Onboarding; Conduct Data Analysis; Integrate into Software): 3 months Deliver Reports and Disseminate: 3 weeks We have a sustainable, scalable Smart Data and software-as-a-service (SaaS) business with existing revenues from cities and developers in the US and Europe. Also, we are conducting similar urban design + safety work via the Innovate Durham program, which we will build upon with Pittsburgh. The addition of a safety module expands our value proposition and further facilitates a recurring revenue model. We are also automating our data collection, allowing us to move to a Data-as-a-Service model with a supporting software platform.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We will co-develop success metrics with city staff and inform our project plan using a user-centered, design thinking approach. Our preliminary success metrics are as follows: Pittsburgh becomes first Vision Zero city to adopt customized State of Place Safety module and software platform in their action plan Pittsburgh’s Vision Zero action plan incorporates State of Place recommendations State of Place software users report positive user experience at end of program State of Place "Certified Raters" report positive user experience at end of data collection State of Place meets all program expectations and delivers reports on time and to a high level of quality. Pittsburgh stakeholders request to work with State of Place after the program State of Place and City of Pittsburgh co-create a case study highlighting program successes and lessons learned
View more

Attachments (2)

SoPPittsCustomerJourney20181010.jpg

This customer journey represents from top to bottom how our ideal customer, Karina Ricks (Pittsburgh's Director of Mobility and Infrastructure) would use the State of Place software to achieve the Vision Zero goal of getting safer, more walkable development projects done using smart data!

SoPCustomerPitchDeck20181010.pdf

The slides in this deck dive into the details about State of Place and how we add data-driven value to transform places to become more walkable, livable, sustainable and truly smarter!

75 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Diana Avart
Team

Hi Mariela,

Congrats on being a Semi-Finalist! Don't forget to continue using the Share buttons found at the end of the post as you make updates during the Refine phase. This will encourage the community to continue to vote and engage with your submission, helping reviewers to get an understanding of which ideas have the greatest public support and also prompting you to consider different aspects of your proposal in new ways.

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Aja Eyre
Team

This is a great proposal! I'd love to see this in the works!

Photo of Hannah Mirviss
Team

Very well-thought out proposal. Love the data-driven approach. Excited to see where this goes!

Photo of Patrick Forhane
Team

Pittsburgh looks like a great place to start. Hopefully this can also be scaled to
largee cities in the future.

Photo of Gina Blades
Team

Great, well-reasoned ideas and plan.

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks so much Gina Blades we are so appreciative of your support!

Photo of Julia Furtaw
Team

This is an exciting proposal. The use of data analysis is a key component to increasing safety and quality of life and ensures a stronger return on investment.

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Right on! Thanks for highlighting the ROI aspect.

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks Julia Furtaw for your support! We can't wait to work with Pittsburgh and other cities in the US and around the world!

Photo of Mike Schiller
Team

I love that your idea is evidence-based, place-based, translates to economic impact and works at an individual user/walker/resident level. Safety and money are two big motivators. Creating a better Pittsburgh with an ever-increasing sense of place is a worthwhile goal. Have you read: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/496162.Staying_Put ? I wish you success!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks so much @Mike Schiller ! I haven't read that book but I would love to check it out! Really appreciate your comments and support!

Photo of Nicole Bowman
Team

Walkibility Is a term I learned from Michelle. Looking forward to seeing your plans come to life.

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Aw, thank you for your comment. Yeah, as a planner, I've heard the word walkability for years (and I can't decide if it's sad or funny that we even need to create such a word) but I often find that family or friends will encounter it as a new term. One thing's for certain though, everyone I've ever explained it to is immediately on the same page about its relevance to their life once they hear the word :) - universally human

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks Nicole Bowman ! Your support means so much and I'm glad that you are aware of #walkability - I know it will make a big impact for you as a mom with cute young kiddos as well! :)

Photo of Sevdâ Aleckson
Team

Safer, more walkable streets must be a priority for all cities across the urban communities in the US. I am hoping that you can bring your VisionZero concept to Charlotte, NC where I live. With the explosion of development in the city, walkability seems to be overlooked. This is not a pedestrian friendly city. Walkability makes a city more livable and its people happy. Best of luck!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

We couldn't agree more Sevdâ Aleckson ! Thank you for your support. We are hoping to work with the City of Charlotte as well and have been in touch with their Vision Zero and Urban Design teams. We are looking forward to transforming our cities with smart urban design data!

Photo of Dani Musoff
Team

I think the data-driven approach is interesting and important! I can’t wait to see the project come to life.

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thank you so much for your support Dani Musoff !

Photo of Erin Miller
Team

Mariela- such a thoughtful and well-crafted proposal. Hopefully, Pittsburgh's Vision Zero effort will allow you to engage and align more stakeholders in the safety conversation -beyond the city's transportation infrastructure team- corporate partners such as uber, lyft that have impacted transit modes and urban traffic patterns. Best of success!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks Erin Miller and love your recommendation to engage with other key stakeholders beyond the city's mobility/infrastructure team. We would love to engage with others like Lyft...let us know if you have any contacts there!

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Thanks, Erin! One of the most pertinent things about safety, of course, is that it is relevant to absolutely everyone. Connecting to TNCs is a huge piece of the picture systemically!

Photo of Diana Avart
Team

Hi Marlela,

Thanks so much for the submission. Please note that any additional updates or edits must be made by the Propose Phase deadline at 4:00pm EST.

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Hi Diana - Thanks! I had trouble with the formatting - couldn't fix it in the platform unfortunately but we are happy with the rest of the submission. Fingers crossed. :)

Mariela

Photo of Diana Avart
Team

Sorry for any troubles you were having - online forms are super convenient on one hand but also can but a bit frustrating at the same time. Rest assured that it was still a breeze to read through :)

Photo of Peggie Schiller
Team

I am very excited about what you are doing for the city where I grew up. I have such fond memories of going “downtown “ - the vibrancy I felt then had come back - so I see this program as being critical to the city.

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks so much Peggie Schiller ! We definitely want everyone to keep having wonderful memories of going "downtown" and all around Pittsburgh with safer, more walkable streets. :)

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

This is so heartwarming, Peggie. Thanks for sharing it

Photo of Kaustubh C
Team

Being an AI enthusiast this is the kind of venture that keeps us engineers excited and hopeful for a better future. While we have entered the age of data-driven technologies, Mariela's goal to enhance urbanization through analytics is perhaps the best step towards improving our lifestyles. I look forward to the positive impact she makes with her team.

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks Kaustubh C data analytics, AI and data-driven tech has the power to make such a difference to achieve safer roads in Pittsburgh and beyond!

Photo of Sue Lebeck
Team

Place-making is how humans host quality of life, and safety is a fundamental quality. Mariela and her team's data-driven approach reveals how public places can be made safer for those who move about in them, and their platform can bring that approach to city place-makers everywhere. Please support State of Place in getting this important and impassioned work done in Pittsburgh and beyond.

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Thank you so much Sue Lebeck ! We couldn't have put it better. Placemaking and safe streets go hand in hand!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Wow thanks Sue Lebeck ! I love how you highlighted that safety is a fundamental quality of placemaking. Couldn't agree more and we appreciate your support!

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Thanks, Sue. We cherish the opportunity to help give citymakers the information their environments offer, to allocate and reflect upon how to grow informed at every stage of the development process. Taking responsibility for the unfolding of urban design is a huge *team effort* which no one can do alone - but it must have mutual ground for conversing around, and State of Place data helps tell the story of what in actuality is happening and could happen in the future.

Photo of Kris Day
Team

I love these ideas. Truly, pedestrian safety is a critical issue facing large cities across the world. This data based approach to design for safety is very promising.

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Thanks so much Kris Day ! We totally agree - especially when poor, unsafe urban design puts those most vulnerable - the disabled, children, elderly, and the poor - at an even higher risk. Road safety is an equity issue as well!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Kris Day Thanks so much for your support! We hope to make a big impact on transforming our cities to become safer across the world, starting with Pittsburgh!

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Yes, the promise and beauty of data-usage in this case is that it is transparent. Recommendations for urban design changes are not based on 'ideas that worked another place' - instead they take into account the actuality of ground-level happening, block by block. State of Place can help minimize how overwhelming it can be to plan micro-scale solutions, in any city, bc our methods have been refined to easefully ascertain what matters *specifically* in x location, as based on that city's priorities and their urban design choices. Every. single. tiny. one.

Photo of Lloyd Purdy
Team

Mariela and her team know what they're doing. Taking a step forward with State of Place is a great idea.

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Thanks, Llloyd, we are lucky to live in a time when citymakers are capable of creating better place. The data is there, for the collecting, and it informs more responsible decision-making that CAN save lives. It would be our privilege at State of Place to be able to get the right information into the right hands to help ensure a future where collisions are no longer taken for granted as inevitable occurrences -- but instead become a thing of the past.

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Hi! I believe that creating State of Place level data allows for greater leverage of knowledge. Once you see this data, you cannot look away. Or, you can, but it becomes unproductive to do so. Complete data, for pedestrian safety, is a rung on the ladder which cannot be skipped. The specificity in the SoP analytics is unparalleled. The time for prioritizing the pedestrian experience is now!

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

That's a great way to put it Kelliann Beavers ! Sometimes, citymakers think they don't need this data because it's obvious what good urban design is or that's what consultants do with existing conditions analysis anway. But clearly, if the "old" way were working, our cities wouldn't be in this dire need of repair! We think access to micro-level urban design data is the foundation needed to create a truly livable city - and tying that data to the results cities want to produce makes that data actionable and makes the decision-making process objective and transparent - and of course, Smarter! :)

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

So true Kelliann Beavers and this is such an exciting time to transform the way we plan and develop our cities - let's usher in a new era of data-driven, smart cities!

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

Yes, exactly, micro-level urban design -- I like that. And it makes sense in terms of math. If we design through a lens that isn't looking closely enough, at anything, in terms of its specific parameters, then our product is going to fall short. However, if we look at how detailed and nuanced and *tiny* things are, it is possible to serve more fully and completely the true subtlety. If we can habitually start acknowledging that urban environments are :created: BY us, and not happenstanced by :accident or magic: then it will be safer and more enjoyable to live within them.

Photo of Caroline Bollinger
Team

What a fascinating proposal! It's awesome to see walkability take center stage in a city planning. Can't wait to see what State of Place does next!

Photo of Gavin Lohry
Team

State of Place's data-centered approach to linking ROI to changes in the built environment is already ahead of the times. Adding a Safety Module would be next level and offer huge benefits when trying to implement vision zero goals!

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Thanks Gavin Lohry ! We think the economic + safety tie-in will be a game changer in both creating optimal design changes and getting approvals, funding, and buy-in for them, particularly critical when you consider it's the most vulnerable populations that are in particular risk.

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Much appreciated Gavin Lohry ! We hope that Pittsburgh and other cities with Vision Zero goals will be able to use State of Place to transform their cities to become safer for all!

Photo of Aymard Dudok de Wit
Team

Love what you guys are doing, go Mariela and State of Place :)

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Thanks Aymard Dudok de Wit !! And go Pittsburgh! ;)

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Much appreciated Aymard Dudok de Wit ! Thanks for the support!

Photo of Meghan Brookler
Team

Love State of Place AND Pittsburgh !

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

We do too, haha! Thanks so much Meghan Brookler !

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks for the love, Meghan Brookler ! We hope we can make an impact in Pittsburgh and beyond!

Photo of Joseph Litzinger
Team

All of my family is from Pittsburgh and I grew up going there at least once a year and have watched it dramatically transform over the last couple years for the better. That being said - there is a still a long way to go and I think State of Places's proposal will help it continue in the right direction!

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Thanks so much Joseph Litzinger ! We agree. Fingers crossed we can help the city use data to make it even more awesome and safer for all!

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

It's so inspiring to see the many artistic revolutions that have happened in Pittsburgh and how they've impacted urban design. The Pittsburgh strength of spirit in redevelopment is incredibly unique which is why incorporating State of Place can be a particularly powerful boon to all of the city's groundwork

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks Joseph Litzinger - knowing that you grew up in Pittsburgh and see the value in this proposal means so much. We really hope we can make an impact on safety and continue the positive transformation. :)

Photo of Diana Avart
Team

Thanks all for the really positive, reinforcing comments on this post. Keep it up!

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Yes, so great! Thanks! :)

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks @Diana Avart ! Great comments all around. :)

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

As a parent of two young children, urban planner, and a leader at State of Place, I'm passionate about making this proposal a reality to save lives starting with Pittsburgh. I want all cities to be smarter, safer and more walkable for my children and future generations and would love for Pittsburgh to be the catalyst for transformative change!

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Thanks Michelle Woodhouse - our amazing, super-mom, resident city planner, COO brings a critical perspective to the work we do every day!

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

As a former nanny who has walked Capitol Hill with a baby strapped to my chest and a toddler on piggyback, I recognize the fears that arise from simple issues/oversights in urban design. Small changes can make an enormous difference in creating spaces that are child and mom safe. And SoP analysis is how we get clear on needs, priorities and impacts/benefits of changes AT THE BLOCK LEVEL. Amazing!

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

We should note, dads too! Dads push strollers and prams too! :)

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Definitely Mariela Alfonzo and Kelliann Beavers ! My hubby and dad to our girls is totally onboard with this proposal and "liked" it as well. Parents and caregivers to those who are most vulnerable regardless of age/ability on our streets need to be prioritized!

Photo of Andy Likuski
Team

Hi all, I'm the CTO of State of Place and I'll speaking in Pittsburgh next week at the great Rail~volution conference (http://railvolution.org/), the first time the conference is being held in Pittsburgh! I'm part of a panel on Empathy in Planning and also pitching State of Place in a Shark Tank style competition. I'm super excited to visit Pittsburgh for the first time. I highly encourage anyone interesting in better cities to come check out Rail~volution and hear me talk about State of Place.

Photo of Kelliann Beavers
Team

That's awesome, I didn't know the topic of your talk was Empathy in Planning. It is so heartening to see this level of pertinent language receiving facetime at events. Valuing and attending to the pedestrian experience is truly a way to reconnect the vastness of our minds to our ultimate humanness and vulnerability

Photo of Mariela Alfonzo
Team

Lots of converging energy around Pittsburgh right now! Locals, please go catch Andy and ask him about this proposal if you're going to the conference!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Fantastic Andy Likuski - can't wait to hear about what's discussed in your Empathy and Planning panel as we are really focused on "putting ourselves in the shoes of others" who are considered vulnerable pedestrians so we can design our streets to be safer for all!

Photo of Daniel Carpenter
Team

Having used State of Place for a local project in the Pittsburgh region, I can attest to its robustness and usefulness for community and transportation design, considering pedestrian safety and general walkability. State of Place was used to inform and improve safety and the pedestrian experience for a major highway reconstruction project through the center of Youngwood Borough, as well as improve community design.

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Wow @Daniel Carpenter, I'm so thankful that you shared how State of Place added value to your Youngwood, PA project! That's fantastic. :)

Photo of E B
Team

Mariela, what a fascinating proposal! I think that State of Place is uniquely positioned to drive the future of Vision Zero cities through its holistic approach that includes both quantitative and qualitative measures. Pittsburgh can be the catalyst in a movement to make cities safer and more walkable!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thank you! We are so appreciative of your kind words and hope to make an impact in Pittsburgh!

Photo of Hannah Paborsky
Team

Great opportunity to use data to drive real change and save lives!

Photo of Michelle Woodhouse
Team

Thanks for the comment Hannah Paborsky  - we appreciate your support!