the substructure or underlying foundation on which the continuance and
growth of a community or state depends."
-Webster's New World Dictionary
SPC, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and the Heinz Endowments, are
sponsoring a project to examine the natural infrastructure of southwestern
From the Allegheny Mountains, to the rivers and streams, to the unique
habitats, and the underlying geology, southwestern Pennsylvania is rich
in natural resources and amenities. By identifying these elements and
conducting analysis on their relationships to our communities, local governments
can use these as a competitive advantage in today's economy.
This "natural infrastructure", which provides a broad array
of services, products, and recreational opportunities, is a focal point
for retaining and attracting residents and companies to the region.
By leveraging the GIS and data capabilities of SPC, the project sponsors
are developing an important tool for planning across the region. Not only
will Natural Infrastructure provide a broad look across the counties,
but local governments can also incorporate their own data to refine the
analysis and expand the GIS capabilities within their community, ultimately
leading to an improved planning process.
Lions at the Pittsburgh Zoo