Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pittsburgh Turns 250 Years Old Today

I'm going thru this article from NewGeography currently. Very interesting and perhaps a cautionary tale about central planning. Here are some interesting effects for poor/black neighborhoods in a city seeking to revitalize:
The post-WW II power elites cleaned up Pittsburgh’s poisoned three rivers and Venutian atmosphere, but Jacobs said they also worked overtime to protect incumbent steel and manufacturing industries and discourage new industries from being born. They also launched misbegotten urban renewal projects in three poor and/or black neighborhoods – the Hill District, East Liberty and the North Side – whose destructive effects still afflict the city.
The rest of the article concerns itself with reasons in general why Pittsburgh isn't a city on the rise. Before the second World War the city seemed to have been doing well until it was decided to protect a once cash-cow industry that would eventually find itself in a downturn and doesn't seem able to turn itself around anytime soon.

Reading thru this article they might be having worse issues that I would even imagine Chicago suffering thru. Inept public schools, a transit system with fallin ridership but justifying enrichment of their unionized workers, and a city barely able to offer basic city services. Any other city out there on the rise shouldn't look much further than Pittsburgh to look at what not to do.

Another article worth reading from New Geography an article about Mayor Bloomberg of New York City.

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