225 Years of Building Better Lives
header image
Share Your Story
Insights into Society and Culture

Research Helps to Improve Communities


Researchers at Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) take a novel approach to improving communities: They listen to the people who live there.

According to UCSUR, more people moved into the Pittsburgh area in 2009 than moved away, the first time that had happened since 1991. Watch economist Chris Briem discuss these findings.

UCSUR’s Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System (PNCIS), developed by professor Sabina Deitrick, provides important property and neighborhood information to individuals and organizations interested in improving their communities. A local architect told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the database would be "a godsend for neighborhood organizations operating on a shoestring."  Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article on PNCIS. 


 Tracy Soska is co-director of the University’s Community Outreach Partnership Center, which he says is "based around communities identifying what their own needs are." In 2011, Soska was featured as a "Newsmaker" by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


Pittsburgh is often called a "city of neighborhoods," which can make understanding the city as a whole difficult. UCSUR's maps showing elections results and voter registration allow citizens to get a better handle on a complicated town. UCSUR's Pittsburgh Urban Blog features maps and data about Pittsburgh.


Richard Schulz's research focuses on social and psychological aspects of aging. His work is particularly important in Pittsburgh, which has one of the oldest populations in the country. Read about UCSUR's gerontological research.