Region

I Am Homeless

Back in 1988, I wrote a series about Pittsburgh’s homeless, based on my living on the streets for 14 days and nights, undercover, with long hair and a beard. I was 26, and the Pittsburgh Press series changed my journalistic trajectory, won national writing awards, and later became part of…

Pittsburgh’s Top Stories of 2016

Number five: Pittsburgh’s 200th Anniversary. Pittsburgh is getting younger. You read about it, hear about it and see it anytime you’re out on the “tahn.” Even the demographic data backs it up. If you still don’t believe it, consider this: This year, just eight years after the Pittsburgh 250 celebration,…

Path to Delinquency

Aaron Thomas was 14 when a Pittsburgh police drug task force raided the Garfield home where he lived with his parents, whose lives were ruled by an addiction to cocaine and heroin. That led to his first encounter with the juvenile justice system. But the time he would spend in…

The Template for Sustainable Development

It was several years ago that Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto was chatting with André Heinz, soon to be chairman of The Heinz Endowments, about development in Pittsburgh— specifically, Hazelwood’s Almono site, where the foundation is a principal. The more they talked, the more they realized they shared a vision for…

Pittsburgh: Too Much Same Ol’ Same Ol’

Despite being one of the country’s hottest cities, at least as far as mainstream media reporting goes, the Pittsburgh metro still provides less opportunity for its residents than its peers. That fact was borne out by recently released employment numbers for July: unemployment is rising above both State and national…

Boom and Bust

All over rural pennsylvania, motel parking lots, which just a couple of years ago were teeming with lumbering pickup trucks with out-​of-​state plates, are nearly empty. So are the hastily constructed “man camps” that not so long ago provided temporary shelter for roughnecks and roustabouts. So are the breakfast joints…

On the Road to Prosperity

Prosperity means different things to different people. But to the residents of a village by that name in Washington County that’s been significantly affected by fluctuations in the coal and Marcellus Shale gas industries, Prosperity is home. Some of the 1,105 residents have made a lot of money. Some are…

The Road to Sustainability

In a region conceived around the principles of sustainability, clean, healthy air is an undisputed staple. Southwestern Pennsylvania is not there yet. The air has markedly improved from the days when industry was the backbone of the economy. Yet, in the best of years, it’s only good enough to warrant…

The Right Thing To Do

It had stormed the night before, hard enough to postpone the Pirates game and scrub the air, leaving it sharp and glittering for the early morning joggers along the North Shore Trail. The bridges overhead buzzed with the aggregate sound of thousands of people going to work. Halfway between PNC

Prospects for Pittsburgh Where You Might Not Expect Them

Two recent reports have me thinking about the Pittsburgh region’s future, especially those areas that aren’t part of the latest international praise for being “hip” or “high tech” or “urban cool.” It seems, touch wood, that a large part of the region is on the path to the only measures…

The Decisive Decade

After going to college and law school in the south, Jack Barbour decided to return to Pittsburgh in 1979. “When I said I was going back to Pittsburgh, everyone looked at me like I was nuts. They still may look at me like I’m nuts. But there’s no longer that…

Thinking Green

Allegheny County got rid of desk-​side wastebaskets in the County Office Building and Health Department administrative offices last year and, as a result, sent 64 percent less trash to landfills.

The City Should Welcome Shell to Downtown Pittsburgh

In the current issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, Publisher Doug Heuck notes the collaborative work of Pittsburgh civic leaders in helping Pittsburgh’s economic rebirth. The recent announcement that Shell is now committed to building an ethane “cracker” plant in Beaver County is an opportunity to increase that collaboration.

Problem in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh’s unemployment rate, reported for the latest available month, April 2016, bumped up for the third month in a row to 5.8%. On the surface this is a disturbing figure given that most cities in our cohort group are experiencing falling unemployment rates. The unemployment rate in Charlotte is now…

Moderate Growth in Store for Metro Pittsburgh in 2016

Metropolitan Pittsburgh is a picture of stability entering 2016. Job growth is outpacing the Pennsylvania state average, and the unemployment rate for the seven-​county region is steady near 5 percent. 2015 brought a resurgence in labor force growth, providing local employers a wider pool of talent from which to fill…
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