Pittsburgh Urban Data and Development Process Analysis

Average daily rate, weighted by size, for an Airbnb listing. Darker areas had higher daily rates.

With a rapidly growing set of open, controlled, and web-based urban data resources, the Heinz Endowments commissioned a study and set of recommendations on the improved use of these emerging resources for actionable community development and engagement efforts.

The Heinz Endowments aims to better identify need and hope with the goal of maximizing investment and impact in community development. Need and social opportunity can themselves be the basis for analysis that most appropriately translates this kind of mission into urban values or factors for better considering development location and types. The study presents an overall framework through which emerging data resources can better inform planning and development practices in Pittsburgh with the goal of maximizing investment and impact in community development. This includes an overview of initial directions the data seems to point as well as suggestions on how the data can be further refined. Guidance on how these resources can lead to more systematic analyses, and on a more detailed scale, is also included.


Black dots represent locations of registered block parties in Pittsburgh. Shaded areas show number of block parties per capita, represented here per census block group.


Difference in average price per bedroom across Pittsburgh, based on Craigslist rental listings.


The Heinz Endowments


Pittsburgh, PA


Completed 2016



Elizabeth Christoforetti, Will Cohen, Stephen Rife