Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Millvale Gains Sustainability Coordinator Aims at Quality of Life, Environment

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Millvale Gains Sustainability Coordinator Aims at Quality of Life, Environment

Article excerpt

Millvale's first sustainability coordinator envisions the time when a borough planning model becomes a reality.

Zaheen Hussain, 27, of Bloomfield began working in June to develop and move forward the sustainability initiatives of not only the Millvale Community Library but the entire borough. His position is funded by a Neighborhood Allies Catalytic Grant secured by the library. Talia Piaza, Neighborhood Allies' Community Resources and Communications Program manager, said she believes the creation of the position will help Millvale prioritize community health and quality of life.

Mr. Hussain describes sustainability as a way of living that keeps the quality of life going in a way that is not detrimental to the environment and economy.

"As Millvale sees the opportunity for redevelopment, we want jobs that don't go away and aren't harmful to the environment," he said.

A central part of Mr. Hussain's role will be continuing to develop Milvale' EcoDistrict PIVOT Plan, a collaboration between the borough, the Millvale Borough Development Corp., and Evolve EA, a sustainable design and consulting firm.

The goal of the planning model is to promote resource efficiency by connecting food, water and energy networks.

"Millvale is considered a food desert with no access to fresh food," Mr. Hussain said, with the closest grocery store 1.5 miles away and accessible only by car. "With the borough's poverty rate at 20 percent, there is not much access to cars, and bus routes have been cut."

He said the Millvale Borough Development Corp. is working to develop a food hub at the proposed Town Square at the corner of North and Grant avenues.

Farm Truck Foods, which currently operates its mobile farmers' market there on Wednesdays, will open a ground-level market at the former furniture store.

Non-profit New Sun Rising will offer food enterprise incubator space on the upper level of the building, with business-planning and mentoring classes.

"My job will be to follow up with the participants and find space in the borough for them to operate," Mr. …

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