Business

Urbanism

Second life— Pittsburgh

Preface

While post-industrial towns such as Detroit languish in a ‘rust belt’, Pittsburgh is bucking the trend, teeing itself up as a major hi-tech hub and an alternative to California’s Silicon Valley. Monocle visits its thriving East Liberty neighbourhood.

Bakery Square project, East Liberty, India, Kenya, Kolkata, Luxembourg, Nairobi, Plug and Play Tech Center, Russia, Silicon Valley, Skolkovo, iHub

By all measures, the news coming out of Pittsburgh these days should be nothing but negative. This historic manufacturing town at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers was the ultimate “singularly-specialised economy” for more than a century – where an all-dominant steel industry sustained a vibrant working class, while fuelling the massive family fortunes of the Carnegies, Mellons and Fricks. Yet like car-dependent Detroit, Reagan-era globalisation devastated Pittsburgh’s steel sector, decimating blue-collar jobs and ultimately…

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