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City of Pittsburgh


Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer


City of Pittsburgh



Business Challenge

The City of Pittsburgh’s resiliency plan, OnePGH, is designed to help the city prepare for issues including climate change, demographic change, and public safety concerns. Resiliency plans provide city officials with a playbook to aid decision making in the event of a significant threat or change to the city, enabling officials to limit the impact on residents and maintain public services. The City of Pittsburgh desired to add a focus on air quality into its OnePGH plan.

Analytics Solution

A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED) is the University of Pittsburgh’s open source data modeling system that can recreate major events virtually so that scientists and first responders can study how to improve emergency response plans. FRED was initially created to look at how infectious diseases spread throughout populations, but has since been expanded to look at non-infectious diseases, as well as social and environmental factors that affect health.

FRED is used to look at the clinical impact of heat and smog on city residents. It allows users to pinpoint critical conditions and the effect of potential interventions to better educate response efforts. For example, the model can be used to predict how many instances of acute respiratory disease warranting a 911 call would occur in the context of this environmental event.


Researchers are using the data from FRED and feeding it into Optima Predict, a predictive response planning and simulation software created by Intermedix, to determine the appropriate resource allocation and deployments of emergency response personnel. Using technology and professional experience together allows OnePGH to model how systems interact, and different scenarios and circumstances can also be used to replicate the process in the future.