Pittsburgh consistently ranks among the “most livable” cities in America by people who make lists of those kinds of things. But what does that mean, exactly? Cultural institutions, great parks, good education and public transportation — we’ve got all that, sure.
But then there are the intangibles. Rustbelt cities like Pittsburgh grew up in the crucible of the industrial age, when immigrants from around the world came together for the purpose of production. The city today retains much of its essential, original place-character, rooted in a history of industry, shared hard work, and creative thinking.
People in Pittsburgh know how to live and how to work together. The multi-ethnic, multi-cultural heritage of the original labor force in the steel and coke plants lives on in the contemporary urban environment. This cultural vibrancy makes for fertile ground; new generations of makers and creators are thriving in the region, from potters to A.I. engineers.
The Rustbelt is reinventing itself, peopled by creative types with the same sense of purpose that gave rise to the original industries of the region. It’s an invigorating environment, buzzing with community pride, optimism and joy. Call it livability.