Region

The 2015 Economic Outlook

Southwestern Pennsylvania is in solid economic shape entering 2015. Employment is holding near all-​time highs, and the seven-​county unemployment rate has fallen to just under 5 percent — with the historic low of 4.1 percent in sight for 2016. But stalled labor force growth since late 2012 should temper excitement regarding the…

Population Shifts Again with Aging Baby Boomers

Southwestern pennsylvania’s demographic landscape is once again changing in profound ways. After decades of slowly recovering from the exodus of young adults in the 1980s, the region is again seeing older adults command a growing share of the population as more baby boomers age.

Destination unknown

When I say I’m new to Pittsburgh, the questions start. Oh, for work? Does your husband have family here? Neither is true for me, and I tend to pause and say, “Well, this city is the reason that we moved here.” If they leave too long of a gap, I…

As Boomers Age

In a few decades, the rest of America will be as gray as Allegheny County, which not long ago stood as one of the oldest counties in the nation. But it won’t be due to a local surge of youth. Aging Baby Boomers, in fact, are driving the county’s older…

One Pitt, one planet

On a muggy September evening, a group of 30 University of Pittsburgh students harvested food on a green patch of land in Oakland surrounded by older brick buildings and urban hubbub. They picked tomatoes, green peppers, raspberries, kale, beets, turnips and grapes, filling large plastic bins in an effort to…

Growing smarter

When drivers exit the turnpike in Cranberry, they see expansive strip malls, traffic signals and road signs leading to more highways. On its face, it’s a portrait of urban sprawl.

Bike city

Courtney Ehrlichman makes the commute to her Carnegie Mellon University job with her young daughter on an Xtracycle fitted with a Hooptie. That’s a bicycle designed to haul cargo with a child carrier attached. And it’s part of the changing street scene in Pittsburgh.

Is better good enough?

A standing-​room-​only audience has packed the Avalon Municipal Building on a rain-​soaked April evening to hear Allegheny County Health Department officials explain the latest consent decree to correct air quality violations at the coke works across the river. It’s a tough crowd.

McConnells Mill State Park

In southwestern PA, it is a challenge to find remote and scenic hikes. But one is only about an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh, just off of Rt. 422 in eastern Lawrence County, in McConnells Mill State Park.

Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow

Would you say this is the best shape Pittsburgh’s been in over the last 30 years?” I asked the question after a group of people, including the region’s leading economist, its top demographic expert, and the head of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, had just viewed the most recent…

Taking full flight

Pittsburgh’s once-​endangered National Aviary wrapped up 2013 as the most successful year in its 60-​year history and capped a dramatic six-​year expansion. With record visitors and record numbers of new birds joining its collection (many living two to three times their life expectancy), the North Side institution has come a…

Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow 2014 Regional Annual Report

How does Pittsburgh compare with these 14 similar cities?: Denver /​/​Kansas City /​/​Milwaukee /​/​St. Louis /​/​Minneapolis /​/​St. Paul /​/​Indianapolis /​/​Detroit /​/​Cincinnati /​/​Cleveland /​/​Charlotte /​/​Richmond /​/​Washington, D.C. /​/​Philadelphia /​/​Boston

Shale gas & the environment

For years the well pads, truck traffic and logos of energy companies large and small multiplied across counties like Washington and Greene as southwestern Pennsylvania became a poster child for the rush to extract natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale.

Considering a Pittsburgh tradition

It was two years ago that Bill Dietrich, our longtime Pittsburgh Quarterly history writer, died and left $500 million to community institutions. I mentioned Bill to out-​of-​towners recently while explaining Pittsburgh’s unusual social fabric. He’d studied Pittsburgh’s industrial titans and the legacies they left that still shape our city. If…

Raising a glass (and a local industry)

It is near mayhem inside the headquarters of Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, a drafty warehouse next door to a glass factory along an industrial stretch of Shaler. A forklift topples over a pile of cardboard boxes waiting to be filled with vodka bottles. Giant fermentation tanks are hot with bubbling CO2.…
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