Grow Pittsburgh is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 that serves as a resource and guide for backyard, school and community gardeners, as well as urban farmers across the Greater Pittsburgh region. Growing more than 15,000 pounds of produce yearly, the organization’s farm sites in Braddock and Point Breeze serve as production sites and educational hubs.
evolveEA’s relationship with Grow Pittsburgh goes back over ten years and includes several engagements across our strategy, planning, and architectural design services. We conducted a Feasibility Study to assess the potential for a rooftop propagation facility as GrowPGH were relocating to a new office in 2013, and the organization also engaged evolveEA to help design their offices when they moved to a new space on Hamilton Avenue.
As Grow Pittsburgh’s only full-scale farm site, Braddock Farms has been integral to Grow Pittsburgh’s mission since 2008. Citing a desire to better serve the local community, they asked us in 2016 to lead a strategic master plan for the site that assessed existing conditions and identified program and site strategies to improve engagement and efficiency in their operations. The plans has guided incremental improvements to Braddock Farms and reconfiguration and expansion of programs.
Currently, we are working with GrowPGH on a design study to explore the feasibility of moving its major greenhouse operations to the Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery site in Wilkinsburg, and put forth a set of planning principles that can assist in future studies at other locations. Contained in the report are high-level organizational strategies and concepts that serve as a foundation for exploring test fits for greenhouse-based urban ag projects, considering matters such as site access, solar orientation, andlocal zoning ordinances.