G-20 Summit Puts Spotlight on Reborn Pittsburgh

City managed to reverse decline after collapse of Big Steel destroyed its economy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2009 2:42 AM CDT
G-20 Summit Puts Spotlight on Reborn Pittsburgh
Rush hour traffic clogs the Liberty Bridge, a deck truss bridge that crosses the Monongahela River into Pittsburgh .   (AP Photo)

The choice of Pittsburgh for this week's G20 summit highlight a Rust Belt success story, Kris Mamula writes in Portfolio. The smokestacks and steel mills Mamula remembers from his Pittsburgh childhood are long gone, victims of the collapse of Big Steel that left the city in a state similar to today's Detroit. But gleaming new buildings attest to the city's success in building a new and diversified economy, with health care and education leading the way, he notes.

When times were the worst in the early '80s, some 50,000 mostly young residents were pouring out of the city every year, Mamula writes. Many have now returned, attracted by the city's healthy climate for job growth and a standard of living ranked among the highest in the US. "What Pittsburgh has that other places don’t have is quality of life,” says one resdient who's back. “It’s a great place for entrepreneurs.” (More Pennsylvania stories.)

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