The “Strengthening Police-Community Trust” panel held Wednesday at RAND's Pittsburgh offices felt ripped from the headlines, and from the outset the discussion was focused on what the moderator called “the intersection between the community and the police.”
In this Events @ RAND podcast, Pittsburgh Chief of Police Cameron McLay joins Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle and RAND's director of Safety and Justice, Brian Jackson, for a conversation about why building and maintaining trust between police and the public is critical for the health of American democracy.
The Pittsburgh region faces major challenges to stormwater management. These challenges could grow with climate change, complicating the investment decisions that need to be made for new or replacement infrastructure. The pilot study aims to take a first step toward improved stormwater and climate resilience planning at the county and city levels.
Pittsburgh's journey toward its bright future has only just begun. To realize its potential, the city needs a vision as well as an innovative, inclusive, and data-driven approach to community development.
RAND's Board of Trustees joined RAND donors and partners, as well as local Pittsburgh civic and community leaders, to discuss urban resilience efforts. Pittsburgh is at the forefront of municipalities considering how to develop resilience as a framework for managing change.
State mental health authorities routinely devote resources to collect data for state planning and reporting purposes. However, these data are rarely used in cross-state comparisons to inform state or federal policy development.
A close look at marketing tactics (like special displays and price cuts) in Pittsburgh "food deserts" revealed that stores allocate more price reductions to low-nutrient foods than to healthy choices. These strategies are associated with increased body mass among regular shoppers, but more research is needed to confirm a causal link to obesity.
As part of the ongoing battle to fight obesity in the U.S., current policies are aimed at improving access to healthy foods, especially in neighborhoods designated as food deserts. However, research indicates proximity to full-service supermarkets was unrelated to weight or dietary quality.
There's little rigorous evidence to support the notion that 'food deserts' are driving the U.S. obesity epidemic but this narrative has nearly become conventional wisdom. In response, stakeholders have poured hundreds of millions into bringing supermarkets to these neighborhoods.
Pennsylvania is within the U.S. region that has the highest incidence of reported Legionnaires' disease. Guidelines for community hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living, and high-rise retirement facilities provide information on Legionella and how to minimize its occurrence and impact on people and the environment.
Development of natural gas resources has progressed rapidly in Pennsylvania. These activities require many heavy truck trips for equipment and materials, which can damage state and local roads not designed for high volumes of heavy truck traffic.
Natural gas production is growing and many states and communities are reaping the economic benefits. One of the costs, however, will be damage to roads. One hydraulic fracturing operation requires about 600 to 1,100 one-way, heavy truck trips to bring equipment, materials, and sometimes water to and from a well site.
Placing supermarkets in food deserts to improve access may not be as important as offering better prices for healthy foods, actively marketing healthy foods, and helping consumers resist junk food appeals.
Atop the new mayor's agenda should be improving the health and well-being of Pittsburgh residents. With an unassailable electoral mandate in hand, Mr. Peduto is positioned to take bold steps. And the best way to do that is by applying scientific and medical evidence to shape an integrated, citywide, health-policy framework.
While the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will require additional spending by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, these costs will be more than offset by additional revenue or reductions in other spending in the 2014-2020 timeframe.