Region

50 Years Ago…

To understand the culture of a region, one must consider how its residents view themselves, especially during a milestone event such as a major anniversary celebration. So, as Pittsburgh commemorates its 250th birthday, I decided to look in my library for several brochures from the city’s 1958 bicentennial.

Lacking Nonconformity

Perhaps we can blame Richard Florida, the former Carnegie Mellon professor, who popularized the notion that, yes, there is a creative class of people and a direct relationship between their representation in a region’s population and the social and economic prospects of that community. As Florida still tells it, everyone…

Conformity or Confirmation?

I recently received correspondence from a man who posed several excellent questions about the Regional Indicator project and the city-​state of Pittsburgh.

Testing the Waters

Herbert Dreiseitl was in a hurry to get back to work one day last February, so he did what most people do here. He jaywalked. He scuttled across Liberty Avenue — no cars were coming — and headed uptown, where his design team awaited him.

The City’s Fortune Depends on It

Among subjects of continuing public attention, none resonates like the size and efficiencies of local government. For some months now, a citizens group under the leadership of Mark Nordenberg, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, has been investigating the potential merger of city and county government, either in total or…

His Last Resort

I don’t want to be mayor of Pittsburgh. I want to change Pittsburgh forever, and I’m convinced the best way to do that is as mayor. There are, however, other ways to make our city better. You could work for an extraordinary politician who cares for this city like no…

Getting It Right

Time flies even when you are not always having fun. That’s the lesson I take away from 18 months publishing indicators on pitts​burghto​day​.org and writing about them in this space. My ambivalence is a product of pride that we have developed a regional information system that can serve us well…

Job Health Not So Simple

If you read the daily newspaper, listen to news radio or watch the local TV news, you’ll get a report in the first week of every month on the latest Pittsburgh unemployment rate. It is a news tradition of decades. The data come from the state Dept. of Labor and…

We’re Art Lovers to the HIlt

Last fall, PittsburghToday commissioned the first-​ever survey of arts involvement in the 22-​county Pittsburgh region. Done by the University of Pittsburgh, the survey asked several questions including: What arts events do you attend? What arts activities do you engage in personally? What arts activities have your ever had instruction in?

Conventional Wisdom of City is Not So Wise

They were by reputation and position an informed group of citizens. All were guests at a November coming-​out party of a new consortium promoting “Pittsburgh Regional Indicators.” The question put to them was a simple one: Commuters in which of these cities face the most traffic congestion going to and…

Let’s Solve the Region’s Fiscal Strain

Very much in the news these days are the related subjects of unfunded pension liabilities and escalating costs of employee benefit packages because of rising health care costs. They are delivering a one-​two punch to local governments and school districts throughout the nation, with the situation being particularly acute here…

Steel City vs. Silicon Valley

In 1890, when my great-​grandfather returned from San Francisco to take over the family farm on Shady Side’s Ellsworth Avenue, the value of Allegheny County real estate ranked sixth in the country. With its river connections, access to coal and access to Wall Street, Pittsburgh was becoming America’s most vital…

The Truth Can Be A Good Thing

Let us take a few moments to ponder the corrosive nature of pessimism and its companion, bending over backward in the face of bad news to put the best face on things. Both are civic diseases of significance in our corner of the world.

Gambling a Boon to Travel Industry

The public discussion about the pending arrival of casino gambling in the region has been largely preoccupied with one tangential, if related, subject. Is there enough money to be made from a slot machine operation within the corporate limits of Pittsburgh to fund the construction of a new civic auditorium…
Welcome to Pittsburgh Quarterly
Keep up with the latest

Sign up for our enewsletter, Pittsburgh Quarterly This Week.

We’ll keep in touch, but only when we think there’s something worth sharing. To receive exclusive Pittsburgh Quarterly news and stories, please fill out the form below. Be sure to check your email for a link to confirm your subscription!

View past newsletters here.

Keep up with the latest from Pittsburgh Quarterly.

Enter your email address to receive exclusive Pittsburgh Quarterly news and updates via our enewsletter, Pittsburgh Quarterly This Week. We’ll keep in touch, but only when we think there’s something worth sharing — and worth your time.

Already signed up? Please click the “Don’t Show This Again” button below

First Name(*)
Please let us know your name.

Last Name(*)
Invalid Input

Your Email(*)
Please let us know your email address.

Please check the box for security purposes.
Invalid Input