A New Direction for Pittsburgh?

That's an improbable title, given the train wreck that local politics has become. (Did you ever think that you'd see the day when the old joke about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel--and it's an oncoming train--would come true?) But summer has unofficially arrived, with the Pittsburgh Folk Festival coming up on Memorial Day weekend, the Three Rivers Arts Festival coming in June, and the reconfigured Three Rivers Regatta in early July. And I've heard that there's an occasional baseball game nearby, in THE BEST BALLPARK IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES.

The city may be imploding financially, but great stuff is still going on. I read the comments on the blog that complain that nothing is going on in Pittsburgh. That downtown is dead. That there aren't enough young people, or enough things for young people to do. That we should be surprised that Pittsburgh is "ranked" as high as it is by whatever ranking organization happened to release a statistic this week.

If you don't like the way things are, get up off your couch and get moving to make things better. No city--large or small--is going to bring the party to your door. There are a lot of people--young and old--who are already doing just that. Read some of the posts below, and read some of the other blogs about Pittsburgh.

Image matters. I was pleased the other day to hear that non-Pittsburghers think better of the region than I suspected. Good vibes means that people may want to invest here and move here. Investment and movement bring energy, and industry. They bring growth (growth brings change--but that's a good thing). So broadcasting the fact that we've got cool cultural institutions is important. Broadcasting the fact that we've got cool technology institutions is important. Business institutions. Community institutions. Educational institutions. Etc. Etc.

Growth isn't an undifferentiated good. Good growth takes imagination. Over the last few months, I've posted a lot of little items about good things going on in Pittsburgh. Over the next few months, I'll start posting some imagined items about good things that might go on in Pittsburgh--in the future. Pittsburgh's next Renaissance, if it's going to have one, has to be a grass-roots effort. Suggestions are always weleome . . . .


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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