Two Oakland-Based UPMC Hospitals Achieve Sustainability Designation

UPMC Presbyterian and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC have achieved Silver Plate and Gold Plate designation, respectively, through the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants program. The hospitals are the 15th and 16th locations to earn designation through the program.

“Becoming designated really gives us a sense of accomplishment. Hospital cafeterias and restaurants do some great things, but don’t always get recognition,” said Robert Franz, retail manager at UPMC Presbyterian.

“It’s nice to partner with organization that will help us reach our goal of helping the environment,” said Sarah Black, retail manager at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Franz and Black oversee the retail and food services and manage operations at their respective hospitals.

Both locations do incredible things when it comes to green practices. Magee-Womens incorporates freshly grown items into their menu and uses the flowers they grow for their retail shop.

“Magee-Womens uses the help of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to manage our three gardens,” said Black. “We look forward to having two bee hives on our roof in spring of 2018 as well!

“We also like to educate people through our Roots of Wellness program – a hub of information on nutritional, physical, emotional and environmental wellness for staff and visitors.”

The program includes bulletin boards throughout the hospital that display tips and facts to adopt a healthier lifestyle as well as functions in the cafeteria, such as cooking demos and wellness consulting. Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC’s cafeteria serves around 1,200 to 1,500 people per day.

UPMC Presbyterian’s cafeteria, which serves around 3,000 to 4,000 people per day, is partnering with Freedom Farms to help bring in fresh local products every week – from jarred items like honey to fresh produce and local meats.

“It’s things like this that give the hospital’s staff more of an appreciation of what they’re getting on a daily basis at our cafeterias,” said Franz.

Franz and Black highly recommend that Oakland food establishments get on-board with the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program to capitalize on the lasting value of functioning in greener and more sustainable ways.

“A lot of the things we were doing were already in the criteria to become designated! We filled out the online application and received our plate level, and Rebecca Bykoski, Program Manager of the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program, is always there to answer questions,” said Black. “Oakland really is a foodie city.”

OBID is recruiting Oakland restaurants for the Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant Program. Designation enables restauranteurs to see the lasting value in operating in socially and environmentally responsible ways, while saving money and increasing business. Interested in joining the program? Contact Jonathan Winkler: jonathan@oaklandbid.org

UPMC Presbyterian’s Summer Farm Markets
Hosted By Freedom Farms

Thursdays starting June 1
11AM – 2PM

Enjoy local produce, jarred products, local meats and baked goods.

Dates held in UPMC Presbyterian’s front entrance green space
along Fifth Avenue: June 22, July 20 & August 24.

All other Thursdays, this will be located outside of the
cafeteria on the 11th floor.

Oakland’s Drink for Pink 2017 Benefiting Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh

Oakland Business Improvement District’s annual Drink For Pink event was a pleasure and a success! We would like to thank the participants, donors, and all individuals who helped out. A very special thank you goes to Stack’d Burgers & Beer in Oakland for not only hosting the event, but also generously donating 100% of the tips, Blue Moon sales, and Pink Sangria sales to Susan G Komen Pittsburgh. Another set of thank you’s go to the four generous raffle donors: New Balance (who donated a full Susan G Komen custom running outfit), Fuel & Fuddle (who donated a tasty selection of beers), Pittsburgh Festival Opera (who donated two tickets to select performances), and Whimsy on Fifth (who donated a basket of goodies). Thanks to all of these efforts, OBID is proud to announce that we have raised over $2,250 for Susan G Komen Pittsburgh!
Thank you so much for your support to a very deserving non-profit organization who constantly works towards putting an end to breast cancer.

Click HERE for photos from the event.

OAKLAND FOR ALL: BEYOND ACCESSIBLE RAMP CRAWL 2017

Oakland For All: Beyond Accessible‘s annual Ramp Crawl was a success and we’d like to thank all of the attendees, participating ‘stops’, volunteers and sponsors that helped us make it possible! We were so glad to see everyone having a good time enjoying friends, drinks and the entertainment provided by Bill Shannon. Funds from the event will go toward providing Oakland businesses with technical assistance and the on-going advancement of the Oakland For All initiative.

Thank you so much for your support and helping us open a pathway to a community without barriers.

Click HERE for photos from the event.

Real-time Transportation Displays Keep Oakland’s Business District on the Move

PITTSBURGH – The Oakland Business Improvement District—in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh—is announcing the installation of TransitScreens in major Oakland property lobbies providing real-time information on multimodal public transportation to the thousands of daily Oakland commuters. This pilot project was funded by the University of Pittsburgh Office of the Vice-Provost for Research.

Designed as a business development initiative, Pittsburgh’s first publicly accessible multimodal transit screens aim to provide the public with current transportation data while attracting people to Oakland’s food and retail establishments. The screens have been installed at five Oakland locations: SkyVue Apartments, University of Pittsburgh’s Sennott Square Building, and UPMC’s Falk Medical Clinic, Montefiore and Presbyterian facilities, as part of the Pitt Smart Living Project. This first pilot phase of the project will also plan to install screens in Oakland’s retail storefronts as well.

Alexandros Labrinidis, Ph.D., and Kostas Pelechrinis, Ph.D., professors at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Computer Science and School of Information Science respectively – soon to be part of the new School of Computing and Information – are currently leading the charge on this initiative and find Oakland to be the perfect place to have it take off. “This technology is the first of its kind in Pittsburgh; not many cities have this. Oakland is the perfect host and this is definitely a positive for its high-tech nature… We have five Oakland locations with the TransitScreen displays and there are spots still open for other local businesses to jump on board,” said Labrinidis. The University of Pittsburgh’s pilot grant covers the cost of a 42”-50” flat screen, Transitbox, and a one-year subscription service through TransitScreen – retailing at $3,000 per year.

“The TransitScreen technology combines information from Uber or Lyft, Healthy Ride, Pitt Shuttle, UPMC Shuttle, ZipCar, and Port Authority,” said Labrinidis. “The information shown on the screens is customized for each location giving information relative only to where you are at that moment… We look forward to the next step where we integrate all this data into a multimodal trip information and planning mobile app.”

Kannu Sahni, Director of Community Relations at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Community & Governmental Relations, is proud of the University’s innovative endeavors. “The TransitScreen installations in Oakland and downtown as part of the Pitt Smart Living Project offers a great service to commuters by providing real-time transportation information. This project will also help expand the knowledge of researchers seeking to understand and design approaches to interfacing and interacting with commuters, and the challenges they face when utilizing various modes of transportation,” said Sahni.

“This project is yet another example of how the OBID will harness the talent of our vast university research community to bring Oakland’s public life into the digital age” said Georgia Petropoulos, Executive Director of the Oakland Business Improvement District. “Our retail and restaurants will benefit from new promotional activities designed to take advantage of transit riders waiting time.”

SkyVue Apartments, located at 3333 Forbes Avenue in Oakland, recently had the TansitScreen technology installed in their lobby to provide its residents access to the live-streaming information. “I am very excited to see this high-level technology in our community. TransitScreen efficiently assists our residents in getting to their destinations whether it be work, school or just out-and-about — not to mention, it keeps SkyVue on the cutting edge,” said Denissa Visconti, Community Manager.

Matt Caywood, Co-Founder and CEO of TransitScreen, finds Oakland to be the perfect place for this technology. “Oakland is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and even the country. With its dense clusters of small businesses and an active transportation network of public and private mobility services, it’s a neighborhood that needs to be served by TransitScreen’s public information, and a great place for testing new technology. We’re excited to expand TransitScreen service into Pittsburgh in collaboration with this dynamic team of urban computer scientists from the University of Pittsburgh.”

You can find more information about the displays and the Pitt Smart Living project at http://pittsmartlivingorg. If you are interested in having a TransitScreen display in your businesses or organization as part of the pilot project, please contact Alexandros Labrinidis at labrinid@cs.pitt.edu.

Dr. Alexandros Labrinidis is a professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Pittsburgh and an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University (CS Dept). He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2002. Dr. Labrinidis’ research focuses on user-centric data management for scalable network-centric applications, including web-databases, data stream management systems, sensor networks, internet of things, and scientific data management. He has published over 90 papers at peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and workshops and is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award in 2008 on user-centric data management.

Dr. Kostas Pelechrinis is an Associate Professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Riverside, while he also holds a 5-year undergraduate degree from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. His research is focused on network and data science. He is a recipient of the prestigious Young Investigator Award from the Army Research Office (2015) for his pioneering work on analyzing multi-dimensional networks.

 

Oakland Business District Pedestrian Count

Ped Count

To better understand the Oakland Business District’s market place, the OBID has requested the help of the University of Pittsburgh to do a pedestrian count in Central Oakland’s busiest corridor.  With the leadership and help of Mark Magalotti, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer and Codirector of the Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure at the University, PYRO-Box pedestrian counters made by Eco-terCouns have been set up to collect data on foot and cycling traffic in the business district.

The counters record the number of pedestrians by direction and data is summarized per hour. Magalotti’s team anticipates running the counters for about two weeks, and the 24/7 information will then be compared to the manual counts of pedestrians the team is collecting during the district’s busiest times – lunch and dinner hours.  Magalotti’s team consists of MD Shakir Mahmud, a graduate student in the transportation engineering program, and Nathaniel Dirks, a graduate student who installed the pedestrian counters.

“This project has provided an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students in transportation engineering to gain experience in pedestrian data collection and understand the importance of measuring pedestrian activity levels as it related to urban business districts,” said Magalotti… “The project is being conducted as a public service project for OBID by the student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers,” Magalotti continued.