Regional Annual Report

Sinkholes, Congestion and Amazon

On the morning of Monday, Oct. 28, a massive sinkhole, roughly 20 feet in diameter, suddenly opened on 10th Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, swallowing the back half of a Port Authority bus. There were no serious injuries, and the cartoonish photos shared from the scene were generally met with delight on social media across the …

Sinkholes, Congestion and Amazon Read More »

The Obesity Puzzle

Temptation lurks in gooey fudge icing layered in a slice of moist chocolate cake and the hot salty crunch of a french fry. The sight and smell can incite the body to ramp up blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance and salivary response—characteristics of arousal and excitement. It’s a response that Lisa Germeroth hopes to …

The Obesity Puzzle Read More »

Pittsburgh’s Economy 2020

Pittsburgh’s economy has a difficult row to hoe as we look ahead to 2020. Economic potential through the new year will be supported by stable consumer conditions and business sentiment, but the resources necessary to keep up with demand are running thin. It may be time for Pittsburgh to deliver on the promise of affordability …

Pittsburgh’s Economy 2020 Read More »

Cleveland 11,000 – Pittsburgh 1

The housing bubble had burst and the nation was reeling from recession. The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County were feeling the pain more than most places in 2009. Foreclosures were mounting by the thousands, and Fannie Mae and other lenders were desperate for a way to off-load the abandoned properties filling their books. They …

Cleveland 11,000 – Pittsburgh 1 Read More »

Gauging K–12 Education Quality

Allegheny County residents are tough graders when assessing the performance of the public schools that educate 115,000 county children in grades kindergarten through 12, a far-ranging survey of their views on education suggests. Fewer than half give schools a better-than-fair rating for their class size, funding, student preparedness, parental involvement and diversity of the student …

Gauging K–12 Education Quality Read More »

The Economic Outlook for 2018

tronger hiring last year, rising wages and upcoming tax cuts lead those who read the economic tea leaves to be cautiously optimistic that 2018 could reward southwestern Pennsylvania with the largest increase in job growth in five years, finally shaking the malaise that works to contract the local labor force, send residents packing and stifle …

The Economic Outlook for 2018 Read More »

Gaining Critical Mass

Alfred Hunt knew a good idea when he saw it. And Charles Martin Hall had one. In 1886, the 23-year-old chemist had discovered a smelting process to make aluminum inexpensively while working in a lab he cobbled together in a shed behind his parent’s house in northern Ohio. Hunt, a Pittsburgh metallurgist, realized its commercial …

Gaining Critical Mass Read More »

What are “Waters of the United States”?

What are the so-called “waters of the United States” and why did the Obama administration expand the definition? To understand that is to understand the evolution of environmental regulation in the United States and how the nation’s courts have interpreted what’s protected. With the exception of the 1948 Federal Water Pollution Act, hardly any water …

What are “Waters of the United States”? Read More »

Region Gets Average Marks for Senior Livability

The Pittsburgh region has filled a trophy case with awards for being judged the “most livable” place in the nation by a variety of publications and organizations. But when the livability of senior citizens is considered, the region is less than a standout, an AARP index suggests. AARP scores the livability of U.S. counties based …

Region Gets Average Marks for Senior Livability Read More »

A Different Pittsburgh

There’s an Andy Warhol canvas of a newspaper clipping with a photograph of a can of tuna fish and, beneath it, two middle-aged women and the caption: “Seized shipment: Did a leak kill…Mrs. McCarthy and Mrs. Brown?” The painting, “Tunafish Disaster,” is comedian and Warhol collector Steve Martin’s favorite work by the Pittsburgh-born artist. And …

A Different Pittsburgh Read More »

Protecting Our Streams

Determining where water begins and ends seems a matter of physical properties, of whether two hydrogen molecules are bonded to oxygen, and how much of it exists. Where is it located, and will people eventually drink it? Swim in it? Fish in it? This molecule, essential to life, has become another point of political polarization. …

Protecting Our Streams Read More »

It Wears You Down

Caring for her father fell to Patrice Cottrell about nine years ago. It involved a few errands, at first. Doctor visits, marshaling his medications, coordinating health care and financial matters and scouting out and evaluating long-term care possibilities followed as his health declined. There were late-night calls when he was anxious about living alone, but …

It Wears You Down Read More »

Airport Overhaul

As birthday celebrations go, this one was fairly harsh. The local news media was gathered at Pittsburgh International Airport’s Midfield Terminal on a late-summer day last September. Earlier, they’d reported the terminal complex, once lauded for its innovative design, had turned 25. Now, with cameras rolling, airport officials noted its inefficiencies, declared it was time …

Airport Overhaul Read More »

What Do We Need to Make Western Pa. the Best Place to Live?

We asked a cross-section of regional leaders to respond, in 75 words or less, to this question: What do we need to do to make Western Pennsylvania the best place to live in the world? “The incredible transformation here in such a short time gives me tremendous hope and excitement for the future of our …

What Do We Need to Make Western Pa. the Best Place to Live? Read More »

A Shrinking Resource

Not that long ago, the state Department of Education was a robust repository of expertise for 500 Pennsylvania school districts, offering curricular guidance ranging from math to art to best practices for improving school effectiveness and education outcomes. Those days, however, are largely gone as a new environment has taken hold, one in which federal …

A Shrinking Resource Read More »

Despite Lull, Pittsburgh Poised to Grow Faster

Greater Pittsburgh’s economy is in a precarious situation to start 2017. The seven-county region’s unemployment rate rose sharply through the second half of 2015, nearing 6 percent—a level not seen since 2014 when the recovery was just gaining real momentum. Prior to the 2008–09 recession, Pittsburgh’s unemployment rate mirrored national trends for 20 years. So …

Despite Lull, Pittsburgh Poised to Grow Faster Read More »

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 their ever-expanding payroll needs. Pittsburgh …

Moderate Growth in Store for Metro Pittsburgh in 2016 Read More »

Keeping international graduates

Alexandra Oliver had been a writer, editor, researcher, art critic, lecturer, curator, community organizer and entrepreneur. She earned her Ph.D. in Pittsburgh. She had a job offer in Pittsburgh and wanted to stay in the city where, she said, she “found a niche.” But Oliver is Canadian, and for international graduates like her, getting legal …

Keeping international graduates Read More »

Arrival of More Immigrants Softens Population Decline

Total population fell by 4,597 people throughout the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area from 2013 to 2014. The five-year population trend, however, is one of stability. The region’s population grew slightly in three of those years. The one-year decline—two-tenths of 1 percent—occurred despite the fact that slightly more people moved into the region than left it …

Arrival of More Immigrants Softens Population Decline Read More »

New strategies emerge for strengthening neighborhood arts culture

The arthouse in Homewood is hard to miss. It’s the house on Hamilton Avenue adorned with mosaics, from the stars against a field of blue covering one of its sides to the swirls of hearts and other images around words and phrases like “yes” and “you are beautiful” that greet visitors to its porch. Inside, …

New strategies emerge for strengthening neighborhood arts culture Read More »

States collaborate to grow region’s petrochemical industry

The governors of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia signaled their interest in expanding the petrochemical industry’s footprint in the tri-state region last year to take advantage of abundant natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations underneath it. After competing against one another to lure the industry to their states for years, Pennsylvania Governor …

States collaborate to grow region’s petrochemical industry Read More »

Region Begins to imagine the transit network of the future

Civic leaders across southwestern Pennsylvania want people to start thinking big about the future of transportation in the region. Imagine commuter rail extending to the airport, expanded bus rapid transit, connected bike lanes throughout the area, smart traffic signals—that kind of big. A new leadership coalition, the Regional Transportation Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RTA), emerged …

Region Begins to imagine the transit network of the future Read More »

Top