I thought you’d enjoy seeing the holiday e-card below from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. It sums up a few of the highlights of our region’s 30-year economic, environmental and quality-of-life transformation. (Look out for versions of our gingerbread skyline and message around the region over the next week or so in billboards, kiosks and in newspapers.) The New Year gives us a chance to put an exclamation point on it.
2013 is the 30th anniversary of the year Pittsburgh hit rock bottom. In 1983, the metro unemployment rate reached 18.3 percent. A huge population exodus was underway — 50,000 in 1984 alone — that changed our region forever.
1983 was also the year in which Flashdance premiered, a movie about a young welder in a steel mill who wanted to make a career in the arts. The next year, civic leaders formed the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which began to re-make a former red light district into one of the nation’s top performing arts districts.
2013 will kick off with the U.S. premiere of Flashdance – The Musical on New Year’s Day. Pittsburgh is its first stop on the road to Broadway in late summer. The Trust says it’s a very hot ticket. You can get a glimpse of what’s in store by watching our video here.
Later in the year, no less than five national arts conferences will convene in Pittsburgh, bringing the nation’s arts leadership to see what’s been accomplished here. Along the way, the multi-year reconstruction of Point State Park will wrap up and the iconic fountain will spring back to the sky. And, the Allegheny Trail Alliance will close the last gap in the GAP, the Great Allegheny Passage, completing a more than 30-year effort to build a biking and hiking trail that links Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.
With a high quality of life, a more diverse economy (ranked best U.S. city for relocation by Sperling’s BestPlaces), as the fifth-best performing economy in the U.S. (The Economist), and one of Triposo’s top destinations in 2013, it’s no wonder that our population is growing again and that young people are moving in instead of out.
It’s all the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people over the course of a generation. Our region’s been Re-Imagined and Re-Made. That’s something to toast this Dec. 31 when the clock strikes midnight.
Thanks for everything you’ve done to help make it happen and, as always, for helping to spread the good word about our region.
P.S. Thanks to our friends at Pop City, who have tipped their hat to the holiday outings we’re highlighting on our blog, ImaginePittsburghNow.com. Hope you’ll check us out too, and especially share our links with any guests in town for the holidays. We also explore the sustainable core of many of our region’s beloved traditions – such as the Highmark (Horne’s) tree. You also follow along by friending us on Facebook or following us on Twitter now and throughout the new year.
HOMEMADE PROSPERITY: How Sweet It Is!
Thirty years ago, Pittsburgh created a recipe for regional prosperity. We baked innovation, technology and knowledge into five industry sectors – advanced manufacturing, energy, financial and business services, health care and life sciences, and information technology – creating a diverse and balanced economy.
Today, innovation, technology and knowledge flavor pretty much everything we do. Other key ingredients in our regional prosperity recipe include:
- 120 corporate and federal R&D centers, mix with
- $1 billion in university R&D expenditures; add
- 31,000 graduates from regional colleges and universities annually, composing one of the nation’s the most educated workforces. Cut in
- $100 billion-plus global corporations with headquarters or major business units here. Combine with
- Fifth best-performing-economy-in-the-U.S.-status (The Economist). Top witth
- Three “America’s Most Livable Cities” titles. Bake until golden. Frost with…
- Three professional sports franchises, 500+ arts and cultural organizations and 24 miles of scenic riverfront trails.
The staff of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance and the Allegheny Conference wishes you and yours the sweetest of holidays and a happy, prosperous 2013.