On March 25, 2022 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) announced that Deputy Executive Director Dr. Diamonte Walker will depart the organization in Spring 2022 for an opportunity in the private sector. We say thank you to Dr. Walker and celebrate her tireless contributions to the redevelopment of the Lower Hill District and vibrancy across the entire City.
We are saddened by her departure as we have enjoyed working with her and meeting the mutual goals of the city government and administration. Prior to her exit, she was interviewed by Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, Director of Community, Arts and Culture for Buccini/Pollin Group.
How do you feel about the work you accomplished during your tenure as Deputy Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority? I'm extremely proud of what we have achieved at the URA during my tenure. It's been such an honor to work on behalf of the City, and in partnership with the broader Pittsburgh community, to shift the organization's focus more toward inclusive and equitable economic development.
Where are you going next and what can we expect? I'm thrilled about the next chapter and to share that I am going to serve as the inaugural CEO of a new economic mobility platform designed to support income eligible adult learners with children achieve post-secondary degree attainment. My new focus will be working within higher education to address income stagnation issues as a part of a broader, inclusive prosperity strategy, as it relates to economic development here in the city. An official announcement will be released in a few weeks with more information.
What do you hope to see from the Lower Hill Redevelopment? I hope to see the Lower Hill emerge as a model of equitable community revitalization based on how much restorative benefit it returns to the greater Hill District. I often said no one project can solve all of what ails a neighborhood. However, it is also important to acknowledge that no other project is as significant to the Historic Hill District's history, or its destiny as the Lower Hill's redevelopment, and it must be regarded as such. There are economic, institutional, and human-centered implications which present a transformative opportunity to chart a new course for the neighborhood, while honoring and incorporating the people and practitioners who already present.
As a resident and stakeholder, I wholeheartedly believe a development of which we can all be proud is achievable, if all parties material to the Lower Hill's redevelopment uphold the CCIP Community Benefits Agreement, as a sacred social contract with the interests of Historic Hill District residents at its center.
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