Return from Louisville

I just returned from a pleasant couple of days in a river city down the Ohio, Louisville. I wasn't out in the city enough to form any reliable impressions, let alone any meaningful comparisons between Louisville and Pittsburgh as two river cities. But as befits that region's slightly more Southern tone, in the events I participated in (I was visiting friends who run a summer internship program in Louisville), there was an ease and intimacy at work that left me with a very positive impression of the place. Louisvillians seem to be just as proud of their community as Pittsburghers are proud of Pittsburgh - without the chest-thumping about Stanley Cups and Lombardi Trophies that is sometimes inspiring but often, especially when Pittsburghers use them to project superiority over other cities, juvenile.

In Pittsburgh circles, talk of Louisville usually centers on the contrast between the uber-fragmentation of Allegheny County government and the city/county consolidation in Jefferson County, Kentucky (as well as annexation of many Louisville suburbs) that produced a Louisville Metro area. (In Louisville, talk of Pittsburgh apparently usually centers on the Burgh's vibrant Downtown.) Is consolidation the answer to Pittsburgh's problems? I didn't see enough of Louisville or talk to enough Louisvillians in government (or nearby) to offer an answer to that question. But Louisville hardly seems to be out of the woods. As with Pittsburgh, the Metro area could benefit from an infusion of labor and talent from elsewhere. As with Pittsburgh, achieving that infusion requires nurturing a sense -- telling a persuasive story -- that in Louisville, there is opportunity.


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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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