This week, 16 domestic and international journalists and writers were in Pittsburgh for a “Green Pittsburgh” media study tour, organized by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance in cooperation with VisitPittsburgh. At the heart of the tour was the grand opening of Pittsburgh’s first — and one of the world’s only — “living buildings,”  the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden. The CSL is the latest example of our region’s leadership in energy and sustainability and a unique model of green Pittsburgh under one roof.

“Green Pittsburgh” tour participant Jim Motavalli at Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes

The journalists represented media outlets including, Grist, Environment & Energy Publishing, Architectural Record/GreenSource and Mother Nature Network, and they came from as far away as Germany and Spain – established and emerging markets, respectively, for our region.

The group also visited the Center for Energy at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Aquion Energy (a company that’s developing and commercializing safe, reliable and affordable batteries as energy storage solutions for the 21st century). Alongside the CSL at Phipps, all are impactful examples of why Pittsburgh is the new center of American energy.

The first article from the study tour, written by The New York Times contributor and tour participant Jim Motavalli, was just published. It focuses on transportation innovation at CMU with its Charge Car – another aspect of the multi-faceted energy and sustainability leadership coming out of Pittsburgh’s universities and companies. It was published today on Mother Nature Network, but the article has been quickly picked up by and the Huffington Post, helping to further cascade Pittsburgh’s story to a national audience of individuals who are energy- and environment-minded. The prolific Motavalli also posted this piece mentioning Aquion late Friday on Mother Nature Network.

Click here to read more of’s coverage of Phipps Conservatory and its Center for Sustainable Landscapes.