Beyond Revitalization: Looking Ahead

I spent much of the last month looking at Pittsburgh's recent history. Over the coming months, it will be time to look at Pittsburgh's future.

The re-focus is prompted by being energized at a conference that I attended and spoke at last week in Amsterdam on the future of cities -- all cities, and "the city" as an ideal. Here's a link to the conference site: Morgen/Tomorrow: International Urban Planning Congress Amsterdam. I spoke about Pittsburgh; others spoke about Chicago, Mumbai, London, Helsinki, Rotterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Hamburg, and Tirana. We also heard quite a bit about Tokyo, Mexico City, São Paulo, and Lagos.

My speech drew on my "The Story Behind Pittsburgh's Revitalization" series, excerpted yesterday, with some very cool illustrations, in the Post-Gazette. More important than what I said, though, is what I heard and learned. I'll share some thoughts on that over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, and along the same lines, Harold Miller (the man who has been behind "Pittsburgh's Future" for a long while) had a PG column yesterday on how Pittsburgh needs more entrepreneurship. Here's a fuller version, from his blog. His bottom line: Pittsburgh needs jobs, entrepreneurs to create jobs, and investment capital to support entrepreneurs. In future posts, I'm going to agree that Pittsburgh needs jobs. I may disagree that Pittsburgh doesn't have enough entrepreneurs or investment capital. The rate of company formation here may lag the rate in other cities, but the problem (problems?) may not be raw material. If you want a cake, it's not enough to put flour, sugar, and eggs in a bowl.

More shortly.


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

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