Region

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.…

Voyaging through the hollow

Pittsburgh’s Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway doesn’t exactly rank among the eight manmade Wonders of the World. It may not even rank among the eight wonders of Pittsburgh. But even busways have birthdays, and its 30th is a fine occasion to consider this distinctly local specimen of infrastructure and…

Public Interest Radio

Marco Cardamone offered a blunt assessment in recalling the transformation from Duquesne University’s radio station WDUQ to 90.5 FM WESA, an all-​news National Public Radio format: “We got pretty clobbered,” he said with a chuckle. “The backlash was much greater than we anticipated. You always lose part of an audience…

The royalty rub

When Mary Jane Foelster and her husband, Richard, retired five years ago and left Philadelphia for a secluded 50-​acre tract of land in Bradford County, they never figured they’d get rich.

The path to sustainability

Bike lanes and buses, clean water and clear skies, and prosperity without poverty and its corrosive effects — the vision of a sustainable city and region can seem like a Sim City blueprint for the ideal future. Until the nagging obstacles of reality are considered. And nowhere is that more true than…

Visions of Pittsburgh’s Future

Twenty-​five years ago, Pittsburgh hosted the Remaking Cities Conference, an international gathering of architects, visionaries and dignitaries, including England’s Prince Charles, the honorary co-​host and keynote speaker. This year, Oct. 15-​– 18, 2013, Carnegie Mellon University will host the Remaking Cities Congress, with 300 invited urbanists and thought leaders who will…

What we say (and do) about the environment

Lori Rieger and Kim Haynes are strolling Point State Park on a July afternoon that is sunny, hot and humid enough to notice. It’s the kind of day that invites ozone pollution to accumulate at levels that violate federal air quality standards, which is something Pittsburgh and the region do…

Red flags rising

It’s been more than a year since Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, stepped to the lectern on a sweltering summer day in Houston and issued a stern warning to a gathering of energy executives.

Choosing our city

We all have a unique personal introduction, the thing a friend always says to get the ball rolling. It’s the arms around the shoulders at the cocktail party followed by “Have you met Andy? He’s from Argentina.” Mine is “This is Lara. She’s one of the owners of Prantl’s Bakery.”…

The 30-​year cycle

Thirty years ago, in 1983, Pittsburgh was in the midst of a massive upheaval. The mighty industrial engines were going quiet, and the metropolitan unemployment rate exceeded 18 percent. The following year, 50,000 people left the region, and most of them were young adults, forced to seek new futures elsewhere.

African Americans in Pittsburgh: The data in black & white

Some 1,800 Greater Pittsburgh men and women spent a half hour on the phone late last year answering an expansive battery of questions about themselves, their circumstances, and views on everything from how tax dollars should be spent to how happy they are. It was, by any standard, the most…

African Americans in Pittsburgh: The newcomer experience

In 24 years, Marisa Bartley had never heard the “n-​word” hurled at her by a white person. One day, it hung in the air in the lobby of a Verona bank, where she worked as a branch manager. A disgruntled male customer stood on the other end with an enraged…
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