About PopUp! Pittsburgh


What is it?

PopUp! Pittsburgh is modeled upon the ”Pop Up City” concept developed by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative which seeks to momentarily revitalize a neighborhood that is up and coming by developing a temporary initiative that has the ability to “…entertain city residents and visitors in ways that change perceptions about the places where they occur”.

Pop Up City brings some of Cleveland’s dead spaces back to life – briefly – with a series of short-term, high impact events. The goal is to create magical moments that attract people’s attention and then disappear, while still making a lifelong change in people’s perceptions about the city, or in this case neighborhood”

This will be our 11th year of PopUp Pittsburgh and we are beyond excited to spotlight the McKees Rocks neighborhood. Our past 10 projects have featured:

  • The Uptown neighborhood,
  • the Hilltop neighborhoods,
  • Fineview,
  • Upper Lawrenceville,
  • Mt. Washington,
  • Larimer,
  • California-Kirkbride
  • Wilkinsburg
  • Carrick
  • and most recently Millvale

These PopUps were all very unique – some were community festivals, one focused around the filming of a zombie movie called Spineview, another involved pulling off a mass wedding vowel renewal to celebrate love in the community, a 5K and community festival in Mt. Washington’s Emerald View park system, one focused on “shining a light” on Larimer with a laser show, one was a community focused around fresh produce, another was a community festival in Wilkinsburg which told the story about the neighborhoods past, present and futures and one physically showcased the faces of the Carrick neighborhood as a part of an international art installation program, most recently was a community gathering around food and conversations in Millvale. Each year, PopUp! drew significant crowds of people from inside and outside the neighborhood.


PopUp! Pittsburgh is a six month long project designed to help teach leadership lessons and is undertaken by a group of high potential emerging leaders working together with a defined city neighborhood’s stakeholders that culminates in a one day experience in that neighborhood.

PopUp! Pittsburgh utilizes the neighborhood’s open spaces to surprise, engage and bring together the community’s residents and visitors in ways that encourage appreciation of the neighborhood’s assets, the event especially presents opportunities to challenge the public to see the neighborhood in new ways. We want everyone to see all the exciting and the many wonderful things happening in the host neighborhood.

The development, design and execution of PopUp! Pittsburgh provides emerging leaders from our region’s corporate, public and non-profit sectors participating in the LDI cohort opportunities to hone the skills/strategies taught throughout the program which serve as the underpinning of their LDI program curriculum.

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