The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is the City of Pittsburgh’s economic development agency, committed to creating jobs, expanding the City’s tax base and improving the vitality of businesses and neighborhoods. The URA achieves this mission by assembling, preparing and conveying sites for major mixed-use developments; and by providing a portfolio of programs that include financing for business location, relocation and expansion, housing construction and rehabilitation, and home purchases and improvements.
In July 2015, the URA established a Social Equity Working Group to help integrate these principles throughout the URA’s culture and activities. As the URA embarks on this journey, it seeks a consultant or consultants to provide training and resources to aid in incorporating actions that will:
1. Establish and implement internal processes and procedures to ensure diverse representation within all levels of the URA
2. Aid in shifting the URA’s organizational culture to fully tackle a range of social justice issues impacting its economic development activities
3. Address economic disparities and institutionalized barriers experienced by residents of color and other marginalized groups in Pittsburgh
4. Improve public perception of the accessibility and transparency of the URA
As the city’s economic development agency, the URA’s role is critical in ensuring that Pittsburgh is truly on a path to an “All-In Pittsburgh”, as referenced in PolicyLink’s 2016 report on Equitable Development, and will be using the report’s definition of equitable development created by a cross-section of Pittsburgh residents:
Equitable development is a positive development strategy that ensures everyone participates in and benefits from the region’s economic transformation—especially low-income residents, communities of color, immigrants, and others at risk of being left behind. It requires an intentional focus on eliminating racial inequities and barriers, and making accountable and catalytic investments to assure that lower-wealth residents:
1. Live in healthy, safe, opportunity-rich neighborhoods that reflect their culture (and are not displaced from them);
2. Connect to economic and ownership opportunities; and
3. Have voice and influence in the decisions that shape their neighborhoods.