Why Uptown/Oakland?

The Uptown and West Oakland neighborhoods present many challenges but also unique opportunities.  Long overlooked, the area is a convenient pass-through, shuffling a lot of traffic to both Oakland and Downtown.  The legacy of disinvestment is visible in the area’s empty buildings and land.  Underlying these challenges are issues of access, infrastructure and water—including the significant impacts of stormwater runoff from adjacent areas into the area and of localized air quality problems caused by nearby transportation corridors that largely serve regional traffic—all of which play a major role in the future of Uptown and West Oakland.


Uptown and West Oakland are strategically located between 2 of the 3 largest “city centers” in Pennsylvania - Downtown and Oakland.  New investments in housing and start-up businesses are happening both within and around Uptown.  For these reasons, Uptown and West Oakland present unparalleled opportunities to encourage new investment that supports new and growing businesses but also creates opportunities for existing residents.


Residents in Uptown and West Oakland have a lot of ideas for the future of their community.  Organizing, prioritizing, and implementing these ideas requires a clear plan of action. This EcoInnovation District planning process sought to answer several key questions:  What are the main critical problems the community faces, and what are the ways that we can solve them?  What is most important to the community? What can we achieve now and what should we do long-term?  These questions and more are the reason we partnered closely with community members to craft this plan.

Specifically, this plan will:

Consider the following: