Is Pittsburgh America’s Most Livable City?

pittsburgh skyline

Source: The Hampton Institute

American news coverage of the meteoric rise of Chinese industrial might invariably focuses on the soot and smog ridden manufacturing cities of the Middle Kingdom. Photographs of cities like Shenzen and Harbin flash across televisions screens looking like stills from some level of Dante’s Inferno. While this might promote some smugness among Americans, it was only a few generations ago that American manufacturing cities resembled hellish nightmares, where the environment and the working class were abused in equal measure. Most notable among those was Pittsburgh, America’s “steel city.”

In a little over a hundred years, Pittsburgh went from “hell with the lid off,” to a symbol of America’s collapsing steel sector in the 1980s, to today – where the “Burgh” has been rebranded “America’s most livable city.” But is it? What’s behind this Rust Belt “success story”?

The day when Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was shrouded in haze and surrounded by towering steel mills is long over. Today, “eds and meds,” a robust non-profit sector, biotech, and robotics are part of a diversified economy that is light years away from the economic monoculture of a few decades ago. Especially in the last ten years, Pittsburgh has weathered the recent economic downturn far better than most cities. Along with that, the city has successfully – almost miraculously – rebranded itself, with a large dose of help from the media.

See the full article at The Hampton Institute

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