University of Pittsburgh
February 7, 2012

Pitt Symposium to Explore Allegheny County’s Potential as a Leader in Sustainable Energy Development

U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle will deliver the keynote address; panel discussions include legislators, innovators, and industry experts
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Widely known as the Steel City, Pittsburgh is one of America’s oldest industrial centers. Once plagued by soot-filled skies and heavy pollutants, Pittsburgh has undergone a dramatic environmental transformation and is now considered by many as one of the “greenest” cities in the country. 

In an effort to capitalize on Allegheny County’s potential as a leader in sustainable growth and energy development, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Innovation Practice Institute and the Pitt student publication Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law will host a daylong forum titled “Building Sustainable Neighborhoods: Powering Sustainable Development in Allegheny County.” The symposium begins at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 13 at Phipps Conservatory, One Schenley Park, Oakland. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required; there is a $10 lunch fee.

Sponsored by Pitt’s School of Law and the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation as well as by Reed Smith Energy Innovation Fund and American Eagle Outfitters, the symposium includes morning and afternoon sessions with panel discussions being held throughout the day.

The morning session will begin with a keynote address by U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle (Pa.-14th). Doyle’s priorities include revitalizing communities through economic development and high-tech initiatives, establishing a comprehensive long-term national energy strategy that creates green jobs and addresses global warming, and fostering a better climate for the region’s high-tech community. He serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus. Doyle is also one of the founders and cochairs of the House Distributed Generation Caucus, which works to promote the widespread adoption of decentralized power generation technology that is fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.

Rob Pfaffman will deliver a luncheon spotlight talk titled “Preserving Historical Roots in the Face of Innovation.” Pfaffman is the founder of the architecture firm Pfaffman + Associates and a board member of Preservation Pittsburgh, a nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to preserving the region’s historic, architectural, cultural, and environmental heritage. Pfaffman, whose urban planning is grounded in his interest in Pittsburgh’s historic neighborhoods and riverfronts, is an advocate for good design, historic preservation, and urban policy through his writings, drawings, and pro bono community involvement.

The morning session is from 9 a.m. to noon; the titles of the panel discussions are:

  • “Local Energy Initiatives: Power Grid Infrastructure and Integration”;
  • “The Sustainability of Natural Gas Development”; and
  • “The University Research—At Vanguard of Regional Development.”

The afternoon session is from 1 to 4:30 p.m.; the titles of the panel discussions are:

  •  “Green Buildings: Investment and Payback”;
  •  “Growing the Green Economy: Green Jobs and Economic Development”; and
  •  “Growing the Green Economy: Social Enterprise.”

For those seeking credit, the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board has approved this forum for six hours of substantive credit. Attendance for the morning or the afternoon session is $30; both sessions cost $60. 

For a complete schedule of events or to register, visit the Pitt Law School website at




University Units