Penn State students design green landscaping for NS

Penn State students show off their work.

Two semester’s worth of work brought seven students from Penn State to the Pittsburgh Project in Northview Heights last night to present their landscape and architectural designs for three different areas in the Northside.

Students from Penn State University’s Landscape and Architecture program worked to create green designs for Woods Run Road and Woodland Avenue in Brightwood, the intersection of Charles Street and Brighton Road and North Charles Street in Perry Hilltop.

Student designs addressed vacant lots and drainage with designs for community gardens, outdoor gathering places and parklets.

One student designed a garden for the middle of the Brightwood Kuhn’s Market’s largely unused parking lot, while another designed a nature center for unused lots in Perry Hill top.

The Penn State Center for Design opened five years ago and applies student design to two neighborhoods each year. In 2012, they focuses on the Northside and Wilkinsburg.

Though the projects are unfunded and unofficial, Brightwood and Fineview Program Manager Melissa Gallagher said the designs can help spark ideas and reenergize the community groups that the students work with.

“These designs help us focus on problem areas and unearth issues,” said Gallagher who noted that the designs cost the community nothing. “They put us in another frame of mind.

Penn State professor Ken Tamminga said that the program aims to bring “detailed concepts” to the communities to implement as they see fit.

He noted that some projects the design center initially created in other neighborhoods like Beltzhoover and South Homewood are now being implemented by community groups.

The Penn State Design Center works with communities upon invitation. For more information, visit

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