Report: Pittsburgh could reduce carbon emissions 75% by 2030

Credit: Jiguang Wang, via Flickr

Cailin Crowe July 8, 2019

  • Pittsburgh could reduce its carbon emissions almost 75% by 2030, improving air quality and creating 110,000 new jobs, according to results from the Siemens City Performance Tool (CyPT).
  • The city could exceed its goal to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030, an analysis found, through implementing solar electricity generation and expanding district heating systems, electric buses and car-sharing initiatives, and non-residential building automation systems. 
  • The analysis said it can go even further by using innovative infrastructure like smart traffic management to reduce fuel use, with the transportation sector still requiring deep emissions cuts to help the city achieve its goals.

The Siemens tool launched in 2015, helping cities understand the benefitsof linking climate, innovation and jobs. It has already helped city planners and managers in a dozen cities, including Orlando, FL; Washington, DC; and Charlotte, NC to measure the environmental and economic impacts of infrastructural technologies.​ 

Pittsburgh partnered with Siemens in 2017 as part of the city’s energy and decarbonization partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. The city initiated the report following President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.

Trump said at the time that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto reacted quickly, denouncing the president’s move and pledging with other mayors and local leaders to follow the Paris agreement’s guidelines.

The report’s findings will help Pittsburgh claim a leadership role in smart infrastructure and autonomous vehicle (AV) technology as it strengthens its resiliency. As part of that goal, the city also has plans to install eight new electric vehicle (EV) chargers and to nearly double its EV fleet. The new chargers, funded by state grants, will be added to its existing 19 chargers.

The report also determined that onshore wind electricity generation can have the greatest impact on air quality and carbon emissions. Electric taxis were also proven to be cost effective solutions, in addition to intelligent traffic management systems that can efficiently improve traffic flow and lower fuel use.

SIEMENS A Technology Roadmap for Pittsburgh: Linking Climate and Innovation

Siemens City Performance Tool Identifies Technology Roadmap for Pittsburgh’s Carbon Reduction Efforts

Siemens USA Tuesday, July 2, 2019

  • CyPT report identifies the potential for the City of Pittsburgh to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 75 percent, improve air quality and create 110,000 full-time positions
  • Solar electricity generation, expanding district heating systems, implanting electric buses and car sharing initiatives, and non-residential building automation systems will most help reach Pittsburgh’s goals

The City of Pittsburgh has released the findings of the Siemens City Performance Tool (CyPT), a data-driven software platform that helps cities calculate the environmental and economic impacts of infrastructure technologies. The virtual planning tool identified a technology roadmap to help the city reach its ambitious emission target to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

The Siemens CyPT analysis illustrates the benefits of linking climate, innovation and jobs to the leaders and citizens of Pittsburgh. Specifically, the report found that Pittsburgh has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 75 percent by 2030 – exceeding its current 50 percent goal, which would not only improve air quality by would also create 110,000 full-time positions through the implementations of these new energy changes.

“Siemens, with support from our partners at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Energy, have helped to provide a critical technology roadmap for energy and resilience activities here in the City of Pittsburgh,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “We’ve been learning and applying these lessons along the way, but the City Performance Tool shows that we can create jobs, clean our air and reduce carbon emissions. By investing in local renewable energy, district heating systems, accelerating energy efficiency efforts in our buildings and investing in smart technologies we can really connect the economic and social benefits of climate action. In fact, the same lessons in Pittsburgh’s City Performance Tool can be replicated across the region and create a Marshall Plan for the Midwest.”

According to the report, out of the more than 70 technologies within the Siemens tool, the technologies that would best enable carbon reductions, improve air quality and create more jobs in Pittsburgh include solar electricity generation, district heating systems using best available technologies, electric buses and car sharing initiatives, and non-residential building automation systems. The technology with the most overall impact on carbon emissions and air quality was onshore wind electricity generation, which could be delivered through a state or county-led power purchase agreement.

Further, the analysis found that transport technologies, including an intelligent traffic management system, proved to be the most cost-effective way to improve the flow of traffic and thereby lessen fuel use and improve air quality as it is spread across the city. Electric taxis also proved to be cost efficient as did energy-related technologies that improved grid efficiency or reduced direct losses. Still, transport reductions showed the need for immediate and urgent attention.

Pittsburgh began its work with the Siemens City Performance Tool in 2017 as part of the City’s partnership on energy and decarbonization with the University of Pittsburgh. Following Mayor Peduto’s support of the Paris Agreement, the report was conducted to quantify the economic and environmental impacts of Pittsburgh’s proposed energy infrastructure changes, outlined  in the city’s ONEPGH Resilience Strategy. The resilience strategy, developed by the City of Pittsburgh in conjunction with 100RC, uses the city’s guiding principles of development under p4, focusing on People, Place, Planet and Performance to identify Pittsburgh’s pathway for change.  

 “The City of Pittsburgh is showing tremendous leadership in bringing a range of stakeholders together in its effort to become a future-ready and energy-efficient city,” said Martin Powell, head of urban development, Siemens. “Our tool’s findings prove that their ambitious goals are indeed achievable with the right technologies and by continuing their approach toward intelligent infrastructure.”

The Siemens City Performance Tool is designed to reduce the environmental impact of everyday activities. The tool offers city managers and planners a unique look at their city infrastructure and can be used in a variety of different decision-making scenarios. It can measure and compare technologies that provide win-win solutions for unique urban challenges and works on pre-existing infrastructure. The CyPT has been informing more than a dozen city governments to date including Charlotte, North Carolina, San Francisco and Orlando, Florida.

The CyPT partnership extends Siemens’ existing work in the Pittsburgh region. Siemens has over 1,200 employees in the area, which is home to the 23,000-square-foot Siemens Rail Automation manufacturing and engineering hub and the recently-expanded 300,000-square foot Pittsburgh Service Center (PSC), which specializes in field service maintenance, repairs, modifications and the modernization of large-scale turbines and generators. In addition, Siemens deployed its building technologies to help modernize Pittsburgh’s Energy Innovation Center, one of the region’s oldest buildings, and is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to bolster its innovation pipeline and empower the nation’s top talent.

For further information on Siemens City Performance Tool, please visit  

How the tool works

CyAM is an evolution of the City Performance Tool  that focuses on indicators for air quality and local concentration of emissions.

After generating an environmental/air quality baseline, users can calculate the air quality impact of infrastructure technologies for their city. Built upon Siemens’ technology expertise and global database, CyAM is able to calculate the impact of more than 80 technologies from energy, transport and – additionally in China industry – on environmental related KPIs, such as PM2.5, PM10, NOx etc., regarding to what extend the air quality can be improved. It can also look at other social economic related KPIs, such as CAPEX and OPEX in order to design and provide the most effective technology roadmap and policy making advices.

This dynamic tool can illustrate city decision makers the overall impact of their collective decisions and identify the right technologies to improve air quality and sustainability without compromising economic growth.

How CyAM Air helps cities to make the right decisions

As a strategic tool targeting to long-term decisions on infrastructure choices, Siemens is now also combining the CyAM capabilities with air pollution forecasting methods based on neural artificial networks, combining weather, traffic and air pollution sensor data, for shorter term decisions.

This helps cities to activate short-term measures such as pollution charging, free public transport, etc., a few days before emissions exceed defined limits. It will also stimulate air quality improvements for the upcoming years, e.g. with the implementation of Low Emission Zones, increased E-Mobility, etc.

 CyAM has been piloted with the cities of Stuttgart and Nurnberg in Germany and discussions are ongoing with Chinese cities.

For an online demonstration of CyAM and to learn how your city may use tools such as CyAM to fight the day-to-day battle against air pollution contact Siemens.

City Performance Tool

Every city is different in its own way. Understanding this local context is essential for delivering the right infrastructure solutions. Technologies need to be tailored to the specific requirements of each city. The City Performance Tool considers over 400 data points and more than 70 different technologies, evaluating buildings, transport and energy technologies in a city.

The City Performance Tool compiles data from publicly available municipal and national sources from 2012 to 2015.Siemens Magazine

Urban focus: showcases & trends

Read more about how the City Performance Tool works in practice, about China’s urban rejuvenation, and why digitalization is becoming more and more crucial.

 Measuring performance, gauging results

Measuring performance, gauging results

Three cities showcase the use of the City Performance Tool (CyPT) instrument for achieving policy and climate targets through changes in areas such as buildings, transport, or energy.

  • Showcases
 Helping cities get smarter

Helping cities get smarter

How can cities become smarter and more livable? Siemens expert Martin Powell talks about the main emerging trends for urban technologies and the crucial role of digitalization.

  • Emerging trends
 Ancient city, young again

Ancient city, young again

China’s cities are undergoing structural rejuvenation. In the process, they are growing at an unparalleled rate.

  • Chinese cities

To learn more about Siemens’ footprint in Pittsburgh, visit

Siemens Corporation is a U.S. subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. For more than 160 years, the company has innovated and invented technologies to support American industry spanning manufacturing, energy, healthcare and infrastructure. In fiscal 2018, Siemens USA reported revenue of $23.7 billion, including $5.0 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.