William Peduto was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in the General Election on November 5, 2013. He has worked for 19 years on Pittsburgh City Council, as a staffer and Member of Council representing District 8, and resides in the Point Breeze neighborhood of the city.
From co-creator and co-chair of the City’s Comprehensive Climate Action Plan to writing the legislation to protect Pittsburgh’s unique green hillsides — Bill Peduto has championed the protection and enhancement of Pittsburgh’s new reputation as a leader in green initiatives. As co-creator of iBurgh, the nation’s first mobile app for local government, he has led the discussion on e-democracy locally and nationally and has worked with local companies to help them in creating a new industry.
In March 2016, Pittsburgh was named one of seven national finalists for US DOT’s Smart City Challenge, a federal initiative that will provide the winning city up to $40 million to build technology-based systems to address mounting transportation and transit challenges facing cities nationwide.
Innovation on the Local Side
So there’s always been a partnership between the ability to create and innovate and the ability to build—that’s in our DNA. We went through a thirty-year recession/depression, and now we have re-emerged where we were before, which is with a new 21st-century model. When we look at our infrastructure, we have the opportunity to be innovative once again.
Autonomous Vehicles in Pittsburgh and Beyond
Today there are two groups of autonomous vehicles driving on the streets of Pittsburgh: one led by Carnegie-Mellon University, that we partner with, and the other led by Uber, who has created their global autonomous vehicle center here in the city. So we want to be a leader in this industry; we want to be able to not only create the research for it, but products as well, and we see it as an economic development engine, not simply a modernization of transportation.
The Energy Component: More Than Just Transportation
…We’re looking at a combination between technology and all modes of transportation and then how they all can work together and what will be the options available to people twenty years from now. And there’s one other component that we’re adding into it…and that’s energy. As we redevelop transportation routes and corridors throughout the city, we’re also creating microgrids through district energy plans to be able to power it right here within the city. And that would be the same power that will heat and will provide electricity to the buildings around it. I think it extends beyond just the sustainability to a full resiliency.