Peduto and Kraus introduce nighttime economy coordinator and plans for South Side entertainment district

Allison Harnden (LinkedIn Photo)
Allison Harnden (LinkedIn Photo)

PITTSBURGH, PA–Mayor William Peduto and City Council President Bruce Kraus today introduced Allison Harnden, the city’s new Nighttime Economy Coordinator, and previewed plans for operations and policing changes in the East Carson Street business district.

“Building upon years of work by Council President Kraus, Allison Harnden will help us enhance, protect and broaden revenue opportunities for businesses, while decreasing the detrimental impact of nightlife on nearby residents,” Mayor Peduto said. “We will be able to take the lessons we learn from their work in the South Side and duplicate them in other parts of the city as they deal with the pressures and opportunities that come with growth.”
“To transform into a ‘Sociable City’ Pittsburgh needs to implement efforts to attract all people to our entertainment districts, with initiatives that create better behavior and with it better economic success,” Councilman Kraus said. “A city thrives on diversity and inclusion, and nightlife is no different. It thrives on everyone.”
The Peduto Administration is partnering with Mr. Kraus on planned changes to the South Side in line with Sociable City strategies. One of the first plans is for a Parking Investment Zone to adjust parking meter hours around the South Side. Increases in collections would be dedicated to safety, cleanup and transportation initiatives in the business corridor, to address the unique needs of the nighttime economy.
Other changes could include a parking lot with sponsored transportation service for employees and customers to decrease East Carson Street traffic and reduce parking impacts on South Side residential neighborhoods; and creat a “public safety lane” free of cars during peak periods on East Carson Street to allow better access for police, fire and medic vehicles.
Harnden, who has 20 years of experience in dining and entertainment district planning, will help coordinate efforts among city government, businesses and residents.
Since 1996, she has collaborated with hospitality zone stakeholders in more than 50 U.S. and Canadian cities in 23 states and provinces, facilitating strategies to develop vibrancy, prevent impacts, correct issues, and repair perceptions that affect both daytime and nighttime patronage.
While Hospitality Resource Panel Coordinator in San Diego, she managed an eight year contract with the City of San Diego’s economic development department, which involved developing and implementing innovative pilot programs to increase economic vitality and regulatory compliance in eight Business Improvement Districts with active nightlife.
As the Vice President for Responsible Hospitality Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating safe and vibrant places to socialize, she spent 18 years researching and developing best practices on numerous subjects, including entertainment districts, special events, social venues and public space issues including panhandling, buskers, street vending and food trucks.
Most recently, she has designed trainings to orient and prepare ambassadors to work in an active nightlife environment, and a concierge training for parking staff to capitalize on their unique position as first and last touch with downtown customers..
Harnden has co-authored Planning, Managing and Policing Hospitality Zones: A Practical Guide and co-wrote a chapter on Designing Nightlife for Women in David Feehan’s forthcoming book, “Design Downtowns for Women; Men will Follow.”
In Pennsylvania Harnden has worked on hospitality efforts in Philadelphia and State College, and nationally in San Diego, Los Angeles., Seattle, Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., Austin, and New Orleans.

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