Philly and the Countryside?

Once in a while I get a call from someone asking me to comment on the Pennsylvania economy. It's a curious question since it presumes there is some economic integration across Pennsylvania. In reality, the economic connections accross the state are tenuous at best. NE Pennsylvania has more interaction with New York City than with us. We have far more connections to the WV Panhandle or even Cleveland (part of a future Cleveburgh maybe?) than with Philadelphia. but we are bound together by the myriad state level policies that affect all of us. That being said, I do wonder if we leverage enough of our complementary regional strengths across the state that whether more could be done to link economic development efforts across regions within Pennsylvania.

So a long lead in... was just trying to introduce Philly's new branding intitiative via this website: Forever Independent - Philadelphia and the countryside. Though I wonder how the vast Philadelphia agglomeration really gets along with its countryside? but also, this seems to be a theme as well: A website for Innovation Philadelphia is worth perusing. There is also a related idea out east that Philly wants to host the 2016 Olympics. Think I am joking, they already have a Philadelphia Organizing committee. If only that cross state maglev existed, we could try and get them to think about it being a Pennsylvania Olympic bid.


7 Responses to "Philly and the Countryside?"

Mark Rauterkus said... 6/30/2006 2:16 PM

You gotta be joking.

Philly has a long-shot at getting the Olympics. But Pittsburgh brings little to the table in terms of a bonus for any Olympic bid.

Pittsburgh can't even host the Keystone State Games.

State-wide Maglev -- no thanks. Not unless it goes in 500 to 1500 feet underground. It could work as a Maglev Subway -- but it would fail above ground.

globalburgh said... 6/30/2006 6:06 PM

Per your recommendation, I checked out the Innovation Philadelphia website. Though the site sports a nice look, the web impact and presence is limited. There should be much more activity at the site, but it seems to be on autopilot. There are even pages with no content. I'd like to see a regional initiative with a strong online community.

I'm most interested in processes of globalization, a significant (though relatively quiet) component of the Innovation Philadelphia website. There is a link to the "Greater Philadelphia Global Partners" website, where you can find a plan for better integrating the region with the rest of the world. I am struck but the absence of primary and secondary education programs concerning globalization. I'd argue that there are basic skills necessary for successful global integration.

I'd like to find a region that is a leader in globalization education, but I am unaware of any that promote such an approach.

C. Briem said... 7/02/2006 7:06 AM

There is this info on Pittsburgh's International Communities:

for some specific coverage of globalization and Pittsburgh, Jim Mckay formerly of the Post-Gazette had this very good series:

and this radio series: Global 3.0 narated by Robert Krulwich on globalization had a focus on Pittsburgh:

globalburgh said... 7/02/2006 8:43 AM

Thank you for the references.

Another part of your post caught my eye:

"We have far more connections to the WV Panhandle or even Cleveland (part of a future Cleveburgh maybe?)"

What about linking to the western exurbs of the DC region?

Joe Kirk, Mon Valley Progress Council, took me on a tour of the southern reaches of the Pittsburgh region, which included lunch in Uniontown. We were looking at the corridor along the existing and proposed Mon-Fayette Expressway. During lunch, we discussed the southern portion of the highway project, about which I hypothesized could link the Mon Valley region with the westward push of the DC urban hierarchy.

I don't suppose my idea resonated with Joe since the Expressway is fundamentally about a Pittsburgh orientation for the Mon Valley, but I think a regional link in the DC direction would be more fruitful than a push to connect with Cleveland.

Anonymous said... 7/06/2006 3:08 PM

Absolutely. When my brother-in-law moved from Glover Park (next to Georgetown) to Reston to Ashburn (near Leesburg), we joked that his next address would be in Breezewood. However, the commute into DC was killing his wife, so they retraced their steps and went back inside the beltway, to McLean. Nevertheless, the growing number of eastern West Virginia housing developments advertised in the Wash. Post is astonishing, and they are reaching all the way to Berkeley Springs, a relatively short hop from Somerset Co.

C. Briem said... 7/06/2006 3:23 PM

I used to live in GP.. 37th st.

without getting into the whole Joe Kirk/MVE expressway set of issues.. there is this little matter of a few mountain ranges between us and DC which may inhibit some of that growth. but I have suggested in the past that instead of many of the bizarre people-recruiting schemes tried here in the past.. what could be useful would be billboards on I70 advertising the housing prices in Pittsburgh.. maybe a burma shave type series touting Pittsburgh hoping to attract some of the ex-Pittsburghers who travel back and forth to see their family. DC may be the single biggest home of ex-Pittsburghers in the country. nobody has taken me up on the idea though. So we are stuck with the likes of Border Guard Bob.

globalburgh said... 7/10/2006 2:49 PM

Instead of advertising along the highway, why not something more targetted? As the post above from Anonymous indicates, there are already well-known points of contact.

In one thriving online community of Burgh expats that I frequent, a number of members ask about real estate in the area.

I can tell them where to find that information online, but they'd rather read a personal anecdote.

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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] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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