Latham St. Commons

We are building a resilient and sustainable ecosystem of people working together to address all of the factors affecting access to good health—social support, health care, education, diet, employment, air and water quality.

Lots of hands make light work.

Thank you to all who came out to help "raise" our innovation pod, paint and build our new vertical planting system. We are humbled by your dedication and willingness to give up a Saturday to help us. 

Exploring alternative "capitals"

Thank you to all the participants who attended our first workshop on exploring news forms of capital. Erica and Alex set the tone by introducing Ethan Rolland's Eight Forms of Capital (financial, social, living, experimental, spiritual, cultural, material, intellectual). Everyone got the chance to created a personal capital map and share back with the group. One participant remarked “This is making me think about how I can live my life differently – but what does it mean to build a better life?”. The evening was filled with great conversations and ideas for building a more connected sense of place. Thanks for a wonderful evening. We will see you soon.



Good Work Forum

We're looking for like-minded social entrepreneurs willing to share their local knowledge so we can work together to build a more resilient and socially responsible urban economic model from the ground up. Come for a participatory workshop about how entrepreneurs can maximize their impact in the local community.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

GBBN Architects, Inc.
5411 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15206

Space is limited.
Please RSVP.

This workshop in partnership with Etsy & Good Work Institute (




Nourished by story.

We spent the morning with Justin Lubecki of Ferment Pittsburgh. Humbling to learn from someone who is using the power of good food and story to breaking down social and cultural barriers.

Nice article if you want to learn about Justin's projects:

Grapple: A new Podcast by Keystone Crossroads.

Our team has embraced a new Podcast called Grapple. "Grapple gives voice to people living and working in distressed communities both big and small. Through personal narratives and long-form storytelling, you'll hear conversations that tell the story of America’s profound economic and social changes — including how distressed communities have changed over time, what they’re grappling with today and how they’re redefining themselves. Grapple’s first season takes you to a series of communities across Pennsylvania that were once vibrant but struggle today. Worth a listen! 

Discarding first, saving second.

Years of memories flooded the common space on Friday—we started the slow process of designing a plan for emptying out all the lockers. Lots of useful items that will need to find there way to new homes. Our goal is to break ground for the community space the week of November 14 but first up...massive garage sale.

People and place matter.

Latham St. Commons focuses on improving the health of all people living in the Garfield and Friendship neighborhoods of Pittsburgh by addressing their social, educational and economic needs. We do this by creating a place where the community can gather to test new ideas and try out new ways of living. All the while, we’re re-connecting a community through relationships—from person to person, person to community, and person to nature.

No matter what we do—from growing micro-greens and educating local teens to forging partnerships with like-minded organizations—we use these fives areas to focus our goals and objectives. Our programming and activities may change over time, but these focus areas will not. 

– People and place: Build vibrant community through inclusion and engagement.
– Education and economics: Cultivate new relationships and business
   opportunities through innovation and hands-on learning.
– Social: Connect neighbors by sharing in-person, online and around town. 
– Nature: Co-design a sustainable eco-system and restore natural capital.
– Health: Nurture and care for people’s health and happiness.

"Growing a replacement economy"

Our 2016 season kicks off with a beautiful passage from John Thackara's new book: How to Thrive In The Next Economy...“Quietly, for the most part communities the world over are growing a replacement economy from the ground up. Their number includes energy angels and wind wizards and watershed managers. These are the bioregional planners, ecological historians, and citizen foresters Alongside dam removers, river restores and river harvesters, there urban farmers, seed bankers and master conservers. You might also meet the building dismantlers, office-block refurbishers and barn raisers. There are natural painters, and green plumbers. There are trailer-park renewers and land-share brokers. The movement involves computer recyclers, hardware re-mixers, and textile upcyclers. It extends to local currency designers. There are community doctors. And elder cares, And ecological teachers.

We are thrilled to learn we received a matching grant from PWSA Green Infrastructure grant program to install a bioswale and pervious pavers to help manage our stormwater.

Please stay in-touch and as always we are looking for volunteers to help get the season underway. 


Fall Harvest: Time for reflection and planning.

Latham St. Commons is both a place and a dream. Today, it’s a parcel of land surrounded by 19th-century garages, half a block from the hustle-bustle of Penn Avenue in the East End of Pittsburgh. We dream of it becoming a place where neighbors come together to learn, grow and create positive, sustainable change in the community. To make this dream a reality, we’ll focus on the critical  intersection of food and health as a vehicle for social change. Our goal is simple: we provide the space and resources for the community to grow in whichever way it desires. LSC is not something imposed upon the community, but rather something that grows out of the community, and reflects the people within it.

Our team will spend the next few months planning the next steps for Latham St. Commons. We hope you will continue to follow our story in Spring 2016.