Every city has its most important place for citizens to promote informal sociability and urban connection with humans., the riverside is the most important urban connection in Pittsburgh. Each side of the bridge has a different development level. The design of the riverside pedestrian can build a connection between each side of the bridge on the north side of Pittsburgh and help the urban development for the north side of Pittsburgh. The aim of the study is to analyze the connection between architectural open space, pedestrian, and riverway trails and propose methods that are suitable for developing a mixed-use building that will help improve the relationship between the buildings and the urban context. The study will help develop new strategies that will act as a solution for urban design that connects each part of the city.


Key words: Informal sociability, urban connect, riverside pedestrian, Pittsburgh, mixed-use building, new strategies, urban design.



Table of Contents


Abstract III

1. Introduction 1

1.1 Start with problem

1.2 Define offline social ability

1.3 Define creating urban connections

2. Problem statement 2

2.1 Sociability through overlapping program 3

2.2 Sociability through interior and exterior connected activity spaces 4

2.3 Connections through inside and outside 5

2.4 Connections between different transportation 5

2.5 Connections to existing path 5

3. Why Pittsburgh 1

3.1 About Pittsburgh, PA

3.2 Abandoned building

3.3 Lack of facilities

3.4 Conclusion

4. Literature review 1

5. Research Methodology 2

6. Case Study 1

6.1 Rockefeller University River Campus by Rafael Viñoly Architects 2

6.2 River Ring project: Brooklyn Williamsburg Waterfront 3

6.3 Social Development Centre | Irena Savakova 4

6.4 Conclusion of case study 5

7. Theory of urban design

8. Site Analysis 2

7.1 Site Condition 3

7.2 Zoning Analysis 5

7.3 Climate Analysis 4

7.4 Conclusion 5

9. Design proposal 2

10. Result analysis 3

11. Conclusion 4

List of figures 5

List of Tables 5

Bibliography 5







1. Introduction


1.1 Start with problem

Starting from 1960s, there have been numerous studies by founding researchers and journalists concerning city life and how it relates to space. Some scholars such as Jan Gehl, Jane Jacobs, William H. Whyte and Christopher Alexander indicated that life in public was neglected during the process of planning the cities and should be reconsidered from the start (Gehl and Svarre 2013, 47; Oldenburg 1999, 71, 263). Over years many people have participated in debates concerned with the reconnection of cities to the public. By the time the century turned, studies on public life had attracted numerous national concerns in U.S. (Gehl and Svarre 2013, 70).

These planners and designers started to realize and identify that social values and physical features together develop desirable places for the public. The concept was introduced by Ray Oldenburg for the first time as being the third place, the first one being home, second is place of work and the sociable became the third (Oldenburg 1999, 14). He developed a convincing case showing the lack of third places in the entire state as a result of lacking physical spaces, which can accommodate informal social relationships. Most of his features can’t be acquired intentionally, though; several them can be attained via design and planning. This has called for many researchers to provide design features promoting informal sociability and urban connect with human.







1.1 Define offline social ability










1.2 Define creating urban connection

Urbanization and development of cities are necessary for contemporary society. The urban connection is for the












2. Introduction



Starting from 1960s, there have been numerous studies by founding researchers and journalists concerning city life and how it relates to space. Some scholars such as Jan Gehl, Jane Jacobs, William H. Whyte and Christopher Alexander indicated that life in public was neglected during the process of planning the cities and should be reconsidered from the start (Gehl and Svarre 2013, 47; Oldenburg 1999, 71, 263). Over years many people have participated in debates concerned with the reconnection of cities to the public. By the time the century turned, studies on public life had attracted numerous national concerns in U.S. (Gehl and Svarre 2013, 70).

These planners and designers started to realize and identify that social values and physical features together develop desirable places for the public. The concept was introduced by Ray Oldenburg for the first time as being the third place, the first one being home, second is place of work and the sociable became the third (Oldenburg 1999, 14). He developed a convincing case showing the lack of third places in the entire state as a result of lacking physical spaces, which can accommodate informal social relationships. Most of his features can’t be acquired intentionally, though; several them can be attained via design and planning. This has called for many researchers to provide design features promoting informal sociability and urban connect with human.




3. Why Pittsburgh



3.1 About Pittsburgh, PA


Pittsburgh is located in southwestern Pennsylvania, it is rated as the most livable city in the United States. The second largest city in Pennsylvania, the county seat of Allegheny County. The population in 2018 was approximately 302,407[footnoteRef:1] [1: https://pittsburghpa.gov/]

By the beginning of the 1800s, Pittsburgh had become known as the ‘Gateway to the West,’ because it was a debarkation point for those heading westward. In 1811, Robert Fulton launched the first steamboat, the New Orleans. Built in Pittsburgh, it navigated the waters between New Orleans and Natchez[footnoteRef:2] [2: https://popularpittsburgh.com/history-pittsburgh/ ]


 (Pittsburgh population density map)


During World War II, Pittsburgh supplied millions of tons for the war effort. After the war, Pittsburgh experienced a renaissance. Smoke controls were implemented to clean up the air and old buildings

were razed to make way for a newer, cleaner, more modern city.

Up through the mid-1950s, Pittsburgh was the nation’s eighth-largest city, accounting for nearly half of national steel output.[footnoteRef:3] [3: https://www.visitpittsburgh.com/things-to-do/arts-culture/history/ ]

Its urban area also extended and expanded rapidly from its original stronghold near Pittsburgh, along the Origna River and the Monlong Mehera River and the banks on both sides, and grew into one of the largest cities in the United States. The earliest stronghold site has been It was converted into a historical park (Dianzi State Park) and a museum by the current government.

By the end of the 1800s the greater Pittsburgh region was producing a significant percentage of the world’s steel, which can now be found just about everywhere. This boom brought in workers from all over the world including many Eastern European countries. Steel was the city’s major industry until its collapse in the latter half of the 1900s.[footnoteRef:4] [4: https://www.discovertheburgh.com/the-ultimate-pittsburgh-guide/ ]

During its prime, Pittsburgh was known as a city of rich industrialists and a hardened working class who, in many cases, were exploited in the name of profit. The many steel mills along the rivers produced smoke so thick you could not see the sun; the city was aptly described as “hell with the lid off.”

The steel industry decline after war

The steel industry began to decline in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to economic pressures on the city. Between 1950 and 1980, the population of Pittsburgh dropped by some 200,000 residents, as the ‘Rust Belt’ syndrome set in across the Midwest. Nevertheless, the second stage of the Pittsburgh Renaissance was continued, with the city building major skyscrapers like the USX Tower (now the US Steel Tower) and the One Mellon Center (now the BNY Mellon Center).


Post-war revival

In fact, as soon as World War II ended, Pittsburgh had already begun the so-called “post-war revival” (1946-1973). Compared with the period of further transformation and revival that began in the 1970s, this period is considered to be Pittsburgh’s “rejuvenation” period. [footnoteRef:5]At this stage, under the leadership of the government, in cooperation with corporate elites, the main tasks are as follows: environmental governance; infrastructure and public space construction; office building construction. [5: https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/139996280]

(The PNC Park on the riverside today is the Sanhe Sports Center, a large-scale stadium complex built in 1968. https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/139996280 )


3.2 Abandoned Building

Even though the post-war revival is very successful, During the 19th century, there was a shift of things because of residential overcrowding and industrialization. This has since led to numerous unhittable patterns of urban designs in order to provide places for the industrial development. Development and urbanization of cities is important in a contemporary society, but, these developments and advancements also urban issues, the buildings that are there at times don’t have particular functions that are important because they were designed some time back. More so, there are many abandoned buildings and abandoned port on the north riverside trail way of the Pittsburg. Thus,


it is important to consider existing buildings, riverside Trailways together to redesign some of the abandoned buildings.

(abandoned buildings around Newport Marina)


3.3 Lack of basic facilities


The River life Task Force, the government river vison planning group, began a year and a half ago as a question. Something important was happening along Pittsburgh’s signature three rivers: after decades of neglect, they were being rediscovered. There were plans for new parks and trails, two new stadiums, and major waterfront development projects, some of which were already underway.[footnoteRef:6] [6: https://riverlifepgh.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Vision-Plan-For-Pittsburghs-Riverfronts-Web-version.pdf]

(Three Rivers Heritage Trail)

Meanwhile, an impatient public, ahead of the planners and developers, was finding its own way to the rivers. More people frequently doing running and riding exercise in the north riverside trail way and it’s become more popular than before. People suddenly could be found kayaking and boating, fishing and picnicking along the shoreline, and generally staking a personal claim to the rivers as never before. There is an opportunity to attract more people who want to do outdoor exercise which is design a mixed-use building to support the trail way.


4. Literature review

The literature review involved several essential books as the main Leading Literature concerning Urban Square which made me understand that several studies examine square via ideal values that are important for a square since the square require to be differentiated from any city open space. The sources are required hypothetical normative researches. In order to determine the nature of urban squares as they are explained in the literature, the study focuses on normative bibliographies and selection of the most significant studies among the past studies has been done. Accordingly, the study have selected 16 of the most important scholars and specified the significant of their books about urban square. The normative studies involve the texts guiding the thesis and help to identify the criteria for evaluation.

Sitte (1965) and Zucker (1959) are important sources that because they help to comprehend the characteristics of urban squires. The two sources focus mostly on the physical and formal features most. They help do describe how urban squares are characterized formally and the formal traits are still considered researchers who use Zucker’s and Sitte’s terminologies. Another important source is the book Townscape by Cullen published in 1961. This is a very significant resource as it creates the visual aspect of an urban setting. The author handles every topic by employing visual images of a town scene. One of the very significant aspects is the Serial Vision applied in his work. The book provides numerous definitions of urban squares which are the main ingredients of a cityscape, and also offers diverse principals and images of a city square. Thus the book offers important views concerning an urban experience by using squares. The Pattern Language by Alexander et al. (1977) offers a diverse language on buildings, constructions and towns. The book provides essential patterns concerning the public squares. It touches on social, functional, and physical aspects associated to squares. Another study French (1978) examines squares basing on the historical settings in his work Urban Space: A Brief History of the City Square. Beginning from something he regards as 8 the initial formations of a square, he periodically investigates the squares. His work is basically concerned with physical characteristics of squares though he reflects on the social aspects altogether.


Another helpful resource is Architecture: Form, Space written by Ching (1979). The initial work was a textbook meant for students pursuing architecture and also a guide about subjects of space, order, and form. Several chapters of the book emphasize on physical characteristics of squares and these are the parts that this study focuses on. Krier (1979) has conducted morphological research in the Book about Urban Space. One of the important work he has conducted is about typology and geometric patterns related to the shape of squares in urban settings. According to Whyte (1980), in one of his books “The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces” he determines and emphasize on life of the public urban squares, where he employs interviews and observations which are useful to this study in terms of developing and evaluating some portions of the research methodology of this study. He significantly evaluates the urban plaza as an essential component of urban life in New York. He describes urban squares through human behaviors and all the activities taking place in the spaces but not through size, design or form. Lynch in his work handles the image of urban centers and provides 5 strategies that are considered to be essential elements for cities. Among them, there are two important elements: landmark and nodes that are considered in the studies for urban squares. The Image of the City and the Theory of Good City Form are also other important studies that have been included to support this study.

Hiller’s book provides various aspects of the study. When most of scholars focus much on “sense of the enclosure”, his research focuses on integration and movement of space. His books Space is the Machine (1995) and “The Social Logic of Space” (1984) offers diverse analysis about urban spaces. The books evaluate different aspects concerning public square. Bentley et al. (1985) responsive Environment: A Manual for Designers entails normative descriptions about urban squares by relating them to social life instead of the physical characteristics. His studies are evaluated through a 3-dimensional 9 frame that are important in comprehending the urban square in numerous multi-dimensional methods through his work “Finding Lost Space”. Gehl’s book “Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space and Cities For People”, (1987): are very significant in developing the thesis statement of this research. Through his researches related to making cities for the people, and the human dimension forms the basis of his work. He evaluates, identifies, and examines the urban square by focusing on the human dimension. The author also analyzes the squares depending on the activities, behaviors and people usage. In their work, Marcus and Francis (1997) focuses on the usage and design of the urban spaces in “Design Guidelines for Urban Open Space and People Places. The book describes 7 different types of open spaces and urban plazas are regarded as being one of the types. Their design guide distinguishes and explains particular aspects of squares with various open spaces and also provides recommendations for squares in that book. the Urban Design: Street and Square by Moughtin offers a very detailed concern related to the design of urban spaces. In his book, he indicates that urban plazas are regarded as the key method within a city design and the most suitable establishment as an urban public space in a city. His work evaluates the urban square as basing on the function, forms, and all enclosing features. Long (2005) evaluates urban design using more than 50 case studies about Urban Design: A Typology of Products and Procedures. He denotes squares as being among physical public realms of cities depending on the planning, landscape, and architecture. The work provides proposals that show suitable urban squares and strengthens his ideologies through case studies.

The named literary resources are important as they will help in the development and evaluation of the thesis. These resources offer insightful information that provides a strong discussion for the thesis and helps to respond to research questions and testing the hypothesis of the study.

5. Research methodology

The research methodology follows a three-part procedure: it starts by examining the main literary materials so as to get to the unity among the various definitions about squares in the provided resources. The other step is following a morphological evaluation of all the different types of squares provided by Gzmir following a particular strategy in the main literature materials. And lastly, is by observing the squares. The last 2 parts are involved in order to ensure there is complete understanding of whether the chosen cases can be involved in setting an urban square basing on the determined leading material. To begin with, the study gathers all the content having the spatial analysis base within the resources. For this to be accomplished, a number of sixteen literature materials are collected among the many literary sources available in the library and other relevant sources. The selection of the materials depends on their importance and content significance and because most researchers have used them in referencing their articles and papers, and also because they have been used as leading material by students in Urban Design fields. Hence, the normative strategies are derived from every work that has been selected. Lastly, by using the classification method, ten criteria are identified. No criteria are omitted from the provided list, though they are included in a hierarchal beginning with the one that is very common and ending with the one that is the least.

The second strategy is through morphological evaluation of all case studies depending on the physical features of an urban square, which do not need in-situ surveys or observing the way they are used. The processes of classifying as theoretical are by themselves enough to comprehend and analyze the square. Gehl (1987) indicates that design often starts with analyzing the space between buildings. Even if the morphological evaluation plays an important role in understanding the space, it does not fully help to comprehend particular spatial values. Thus the study will also involve the method of observation, which looks at the daily activities of people in an urban square. This will involve observation of people’s activities and behaviors in a square. The observations are then recorded through drawings and making marks on a layout. The procedure also involves talking with various users, waiters, or shopkeepers. This will help identify the significance of the squares to users and how they understand it. Also, photographing is involved to help gather data without disrupting the people. After ensuring that all squares are observed and analyzed, the findings are then evaluated via a discussion. Drawings are also provided to explain all the findings and their analysis and help develop a visual language of the square. Then, a detailed analysis is provided for every square by the end of this study. Human behavior and perception of public space

Understanding how humans use space has developed to be a very critical analytical move in the process of design (Baker, 1997). The idea of space denotes the many methods through which individuals acquire information from their environment, in order to understand space. The way they view space is just a construction of people’s view and the cognitive system capable of forming active interactions between relations or objects. Thus, understanding human behaviors and the concept of space is a critical way that will help make better the functionality, and quality of public spaces.



6. Case Study

6.1 Rockefeller University River Campus by Rafael Viñoly Architects 

(Rockefeller University River Campus by Rafael Viñoly Architects

New York)

It is a new laboratory in a horizontal expansion that bridges over the adjacent FDR drive and generously extends the University’s landmarked gardens more closer to the edge of the East River which give more activity space.


The two stories of labs stretching along the FDR on Y-shaped columns, the building’s sleek and subtly arced form accentuated by horizontal rissole that shield the glass curtain wall[footnoteRef:7]. [7: https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/14329-rockefeller-university-river-campus-by-rafael-vi%C3%B1oly-architects ]

(Building structure)

This layout is both smart and practical, Floor-to-ceiling glass allows scientists to see the changing surface and reflections of the water, and because the ceiling height rises from 8 feet in the west to 18 feet near the river, daylight can go deep inside.[footnoteRef:8] [8: https://vinoly.com/works/the-rockefeller-university/ ]



6.2  River Ring project: Brooklyn Williamsburg Waterfront

(River Ring project

Brooklyn Williamsburg Waterfront)


The master plan features a pair of gently sloping buildings that offer a mix of uses vital to the Williamsburg community — housing, community space, local retail and offices.

The towers are oriented to limit view obstruction from the neighborhood and maximize the Metropolitan Avenue view corridor, forming a gateway that welcomes the community to the water. [footnoteRef:9] [9: https://www.curbed.com/2021/09/everything-we-know-about-two-trees-river-ring.html ]

(River Ring project Brooklyn Williamsburg Waterfront)

River Ring would add more than 1,000 apartments to a flood zone, but it’s designed to soak up storm surges and with a series of saltwater marshes and tidal flats, the kind of soft landscape that is considered the future of sustainable design. According to Two Trees, the design would protect 500 inland buildings from flooding and provide a protected inland water park for kayaking and maybe eventually, swimming.

6.3 Social Development Centre | Irena Savakova

(Social Development Centre | Irena Savakova)

The 65,000-square-foot center is comprised of six distinct elements: The main building entrance atrium, with functional elements that promote interaction Sculpted visitor center auditorium, meeting rooms, and classroom plazas connect the heritage site to the center, linking heritage past and present The foundational fountain that connects the past and the present is the future symbolizes rejuvenation and visually anchors the entrance. The design draws inspiration from the beauty of Qatar’s northern desert, drawing on the complexity of traditional urban fabric to create a place that embodies the spirit of the community, culture, and A framework for self-sufficiency. The center has a unique intertwining of intellectual, spiritual, physical, and cultural references that contribute to a strong sense of place. Supporting the belief that building relationships create a happier life, the design takes a multi-faceted approach to develop connections. [footnoteRef:10] [10: https://www.archilovers.com/projects/58886/social-development-centre.html#images]

(Social Development Centre | Irena Savakova)


This is a mixed-use building has 3 part of the different function building and use a center core building connect 3 different part become one. Through create different pedestrian circulation to connect each part of the building Short walking distances through a friendly environment provide physical connection, activity nodes create social

connections, and the development of a strong sense of community creates emotional connections. The social development center creates a comfortable and familiar atmosphere through a strong identity, while also offering opportunities for new experiences. The method of construction, the nature of the plan.



6.4 Conclusion of case study

There are three different kinds of building design for the case study research. Rockefeller University River Campus Use Y- shape column to expansion that bridges over the adjacent FDR drive which can add more space for the school laboratory and expand the roof garden and let it get closer to the riverside to acquire the better view.

The river ring project build a good connection between building and riverside, provide many activities for people who live in there.

The social development center gives the inspire for how to separate the mixed-use as the different function then combine them through the building design. The entrance of the social development center is well designed which is helps me to figure out the site plan.



7. Theory of urban design

Most research and theories try to emphasize on the significance of the fact that individuals treat and live with their experiences related to their daily chores as like they are feedback that a designer can adapt a process of design and establish suitable spaces, hence, become more of a human and responding to the realities, rather than focusing wholly on the physical environment, people’s daily activities and life are linked to urban design via daily experiences related to the physical space (Husnéin (2017). Comprehension of people’s response in space, how they colonize and use space, is necessary for establishing substantive knowledge (Lang, 1987). To make this issue deeper, the term tendencies was introduced by Alexander (1977) to take the position of the term needs of the public. He indicated that the physical environment should carry the tendencies together with conflicts among the tendencies. He went further to state that the conflicts should be treated through geometrical interactions of the features of the environment as the main reason for a successful design. He also supports the integration of environmental and social criteria in the process of design. Perin (1970) went on to emphasize the need of evaluating human behavior and came up with the phrase ‘behavior circuit’ meaning observing the daily activities of the people and their behaviors so that; one can learn the resources, both human and physical, required to enable, facilitate or support them. On the other hand Hillier (1996) stressed on the significance of the interaction between people behavior and visual property of the space; dynamic or static movement. He denotes that spaces chosen and lived by individuals are mostly characterized by visual effects that a stationary person experiences. Space is viewed as depending solely on the method of deploying physical elements; walls and boundaries arrangement, and subsequent visual field impacting the behavior of individuals, this entails daily real space, which is not addressed always. When reflecting on urban space, he indicated that cities comprises of two sectors: experimental segment where space and spatial network is a common medium and the physical part that comprises of the buildings every single physical object, and experimental segment refers to the intermediary space allowing movement and connecting them; it experience can be affected by its design layout. Most theories all try to get to a common agreement denoting that man must understand the natural environment and the built environment and how the two relate with the lives of the people ‘substantive theory’, rather than a normative theory dealing with that which has been agreed upon consensually, a particular times norms, that is a design that is focused on the experience of the user. In order to determine the connectivity between urban design and urban plaza, the study reviews past literature materials that have researched the topic of interest all that have important and significant information.

The study is qualitative research design that will help incorporate the space syntax technique. Data is gathered through administering questionnaires, field interviews, and research on literature materials that are important and significant to the topic of interest.

In conclusion, we can state that there exists a connection urban design and riverside. The past building are mostly not functional or partially in use due to the traditional design methods applied. It has been observed that for these facilities to be very effective, they must incorporate the new design strategies that are sensitive to the environment while meeting the psychological needs of the people. Well-developed urban plazas or spaces cater for the physical environment, ensures maximum use of the land, and establishes the aesthetic beauty of the built environment, while at the same time trying to minimize congestion in urban centers.



8.  Site Analysis

(Proposed Area)

8.1  Site condition

Site selection target:

1. Develop and retread the river heritage trail

2. Create a building to attract visitors and travelers

3. Along the river

4. Giving building more opportunity for human informal social activity

5. Empty site, better not to destruction exsiting building

  Location chooses: An empty park and two large parking plazas.

Duquesne incline

Final location site chooses:

 A site which between with the Donahoe’s food factory since 1950 -1960 and Cardello lighting company. The site is empty and This site is along three rivers heritage trail and with a Newport Marina can rent the boat for visitors.




Newport Marina


Pittsburgh Newport Marina, located in Pittsburgh, PA, is a publicly accessible waterfront facility that offers access to the water and provides space to moor or dock boats and yachts. In addition to docking and storage, the Marina provides services such as fuel and marine supplies, maintenance service and boat repair, and bilge and sewage pumping. The Marina also offers services such as boat rentals, boat operation and safety instruction classes, and additional amenities.

Newport Marina is a family owned and operated business, just minutes away from Point State Park in Pittsburgh. Their convenient location and flexible services mean that they can accommodate anyone’s plans, whether you want to boat for the day, store family’s vessel, or picnic    in the park near the water.[footnoteRef:11] [11: https://www.funpennsylvania.com/link/detail/Newport-Marina ]

(Newport Marina photo by Shian)



The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a wonderful pedestrian trail and greenway system in the Pittsburgh region running for 22 miles along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, it is an almost complete public route for cyclists, walkers, runners, and in some places  rollerbladers.

(Three river heritage trail analysis)

 The Friends of the Riverfront was established to create and is dedicated to the continued expansion of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. We advocate for and build multi-use trails, parks

(Three river heritage trail Photo)

and continuous public access along our three rivers through active partnerships with communities, public leaders, citizens and organizations from around the region. [footnoteRef:12] [12: https://www.americantrails.org/resources/three-rivers-heritage-trail-pennsylvania]

8.2 Zoning and building code analysis

Zoning Analyze:

905.04 – RIV, Riverfront.

905.04.A.1.   Purpose

The Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers and their riverfronts are valuable cultural and ecological resources of city-wide and regional significance that contribute to the public’s economic, environmental, recreational, and aesthetic well-being. The City intends to improve the ecological health of its rivers and riverfronts for the benefit of the public through regulation of development along its riverfronts. Regulation through the Riverfront (RIV) Zoning District will limit potentially detrimental impacts near the riverfronts while allowing for high-quality, sustainable development and preservation of the diverse character of the City’s riverfronts. The RIV Riverfront Zoning District is intended to promote development of the City’s riverfronts in a manner that:

a. Acknowledges the historic diversity of uses, the varied character, and the economic value of the riverfronts;

b. Facilitates mixed-use development that physically and functionally integrates with the riverfront and strengthens pedestrian connections to the riverfronts;

c. Maintains and creates connections between the riverfronts and neighborhoods within the City;

d. Protects areas of industrial use from encroachment of incompatible uses;

e. Creates an environment that supports multiple modes of transportation;

f. Promotes sustainable development;

g. Improves of the ecological health of the rivers;

h. Conserves and enhances riverbanks and riverfronts;

i. Conserves, restores, and enhances native riverbank and aquatic plant life, improves river ecosystem health, and supports biodiversity; and

j. Improves the scenic qualities and the public’s enjoyment of riverfronts by preserving, creating, and enhancing public views and access to the riverfronts.

RIV-NS North Shore Subdistrict

The RIV-NS North Shore Subdistrict is intended specifically to address the North Shore and its unique mix of large-scale sports, entertainment, and cultural uses. As a mixed-use district, high density residential development is also allowed.

905.04.B.   Definitions

The following definitions apply in the RIV District. Where this Code contains a defined term that conflicts with the definition of the term below, the definitions of this section control in the RIV District.

1. Build-To Zone – The area between the lot line and a specified depth, measured perpendicular from the lot line, where the frontage or façade of a structure must be located. If a percentage is specified, it indicates the percentage of the building frontage or façade that must be located with the build-to zone.

2. Cool Roof – A roof that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Typical designs are roofs made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles. A green roof may also be considered a cool roof.

3. Green Roof – A building roof partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems.

4. Project Pool Elevation – The hydraulically based reference plane that indicates water surface elevation in an area regulated by water control structures such as dams. For the purpose of [Section] 905.04, Pittsburgh’s Project Pool Elevation is measured as seven hundred ten (710) feet on all three (3) rivers.

5. Tower – A portion of a building above eighty-five (85) feet that extends vertically above the broader base.

6. Water-Dependent Facility or Use – A facility or use that by its nature is required to be on or adjacent to a river; without such adjacency the use could not exist. This includes facilities or uses in legal existence prior to the RIV District that were originally designed to utilize the rivers (such as concrete factories), but do not currently use river transport and generally maintain legacy infrastructure related to river use.

7. Water Enhanced Facility or Use – Recreation, entertainment, or restaurant facilities or similar uses that achieve greater value or beauty as a result of a location on or near a river.

8. Visual Access Corridor – The line of sight, identified as to width and distance of an observer looking toward an object of significance to the community from a public space. In the RIV District, the focus of the visual access is the riverfront.

905.04.E.3. Height

a. Base height in the RIV is 55 feet except where, in accordance with the adopted height map for the RIV, maximum height is indicated to be 45 feet.

b. A minimum height of 24 feet is required for Primary Structures.

905.04.E.4. Structure Placement

(Figure : Riparian Buffer Zone)

a. (1) No development is permitted within 125 feet of the Project Pool Elevation of the river, except as provided herein.

b. Street Build-To Zone and Pedestrian Sidewalks

(1) When abutting a Street, a build-to zone is imposed between zero (0) and ten (10) feet inward from the property line (See Figure ).

(2) When abutting a Street, a minimum of 60% of the building frontage or façade must be  located in the Build-To Zone.

(Figure : Design Standards For Developments In The Riv District)

A: The ground floor of a multi-story building must be at least 15 feet in height.

B. Facades abutting a street of the riverfront cannot have blank wall areas that exceed 50 linear feet.

C. Buildings must feature a public entrance from the sidewalk along the primary street frontage. All public entrances must be visually distinctive.

D. Total impervious surface area for plazas of open spaces along riverfronts is limited to 60%.

Building Analyze:

Section 1004 Occupant Load

TABLE 1004.5



Reading rooms

Stack Area


50 net

100 gross

Exercise rooms 50 gross
Business Area 150 gross
Assembly without fixed seats

Concentrated (chairs only—not fixed)

Standing space

Unconcentrated (tables and chairs)


7 net

5 net

15 net

Kitchens, commercial 200 gross


1005.7.1 Doors Doors, when fully opened, shall not reduce the required width by more than 7 inches (178 mm). Doors in any position shall not reduce the required width by more than one-half.


1006.2.2.4 Group I-4 Means of Egress

Group I-4 facilities, rooms or spaces where care is provided for more than 10 children that are 21/2 years of age or less, shall have access to not less than two exits or exit access doorways.


1006.1 General

The number of exits or exit access doorways required within the means of egress system shall comply with the provisions of Section 1006.2 for spaces, including mezzanines, and Section 1006.3 for stories or occupied roofs.


1006.2.1 Egress Based on Occupant Load and Common Path of Egress Travel Distance

Two exits or exit access doorways from any space shall be provided where the design occupant load or the common path of egress travel distance exceeds the values listed in Table 1006.2.1. The cumulative occupant load from adjacent rooms, areas or spaces shall be determined in accordance with Section 1004.2.



These are the basic information for building feature design which is from building code 2018 of Pennsylvania and Code of Ordinances of Pittsburgh. For this project, the overall site design and architectural design should not negatively impact the surrounding area and existing buildings. Buildings should meet setback requirements and height requirements.




7.3 Climate analysis:

 The climate of Pittsburgh is continental, with very cold, snowy winters and warm to hot summers, during which there are quite frequent thunderstorms.

The average temperature of the coldest month (January) is of -2 °C (28 °F), that of the warmest month (July) is of 22.6 °C (73 °F).

 January has the coldest nighttime temperatures for Pittsburgh with an average of 21.0°. This is warmer than most places in Pennsylvania[footnoteRef:13]. [13: https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/pennsylvania/pittsburgh]

In Pittsburgh, there are 114.2 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is warmer than most places in Pennsylvania

In Pittsburgh, there are 1.5 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below zero°, which is warmer than most places in Pennsylvania.[footnoteRef:14] [14: https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/pennsylvania/pittsburgh]

Prevailing Winds: The westerly prevailing winds are found between 30°N and 60°N

The average hourly wind speed in Pittsburgh experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year. The windier part of the year lasts for 5.4 months, from November 14 to April 28, with average wind speeds of more than 4.9 miles per hour. The windiest month of the year in Pittsburgh is February, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.5 miles per hour. The calmer time of year lasts for 6.6 months, from April 28 to November 14. The calmest month of the year in Pittsburgh is August, with an average hourly wind speed of 3.4 miles per hour.[footnoteRef:15] [15: https://weatherspark.com/y/19773/Average-Weather-in-Pittsburgh-Pennsylvania-United-States-Year-Round]

 (Sun analysis)

(daylight analysis)

The earliest sunrise is at 5:49 AM on June 14, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 5 minutes later at 7:54 AM on November 5. The earliest sunset is at 4:53 PM on December 8, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 1 minute later at 8:54 PM on June 27. [footnoteRef:16]Sunny day increases significantly in June, Autumn is pleasant but short, and the climate is relatively dry through most of September and October. [16: https://weatherspark.com/y/19773/Average-Weather-in-Pittsburgh-Pennsylvania-United-States-Year-Round]

7.4 Site Conclusion

It is a good place to design a building to support the people who doing outdoor activity near the riverside. There is a few months of snow days but the summer time temperature is not extremely hot. It is a good place to build connection with indoor and outdoor activity.


• Regenerate the riverfront of the Pittsburg

• Provide bicycle renting service

• Provide more indoor activity connect to the outdoor activity

• Attract different kinds of people to visit

• Renovate the Newport Marina and build connection with mixed-use building

• Provide for spectator places along the rivers, such as viewing platforms

• Establish additional landings for small craft in natural areas with connections to trails.

• Enhanced visual and physical connections from the city to the wharf.

• New water uses, including transient boat moorings, marinas, and riverboat restaurants, making the historic Mon Wharf active again.

Figure (Rainwater Harvesting system)




























9. Result analysis




















10. Conclusion





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