Community development guru Alan Mallach points to the rise of “eds and meds” and the influx of young, educated professionals into urban areas as major trends that have transformed Pittsburgh and other American cities over the last two decades, bringing investment and jobs to many declining neighborhoods. “Taken as a whole, American cities, particularly older cities, are doing better than at any point really since the 1960s,” he said at a lecture Tuesday evening at Carnegie Mellon University. “This is an amazing revival, and it’s worth celebrating.”
He’s quick to note, though, that such progress is only half the story: “At the same time, for people who live in those cities, more of them are living in poverty, more of them are living in substandard housing and in neighborhoods that do not provide a decent quality of life. At the same time that our cities are drawing thousands of jobs and billions in new investment, more people live in these cities who lack jobs and opportunities.”
In Pittsburgh, young professionals are moving into such neighborhoods as Lawrenceville, East Liberty and the South Side, driving a surge in development, while long-time residents are leaving. Fewer people are living in predominantly white working-class and black neighborhoods, such as Homewood and the Hill District, and those who do are, on average, lower income and older.
Editor’s Note: As journalists, we spend a lot of time talking with officials and community members and distilling it into stories that explore important issues of our time. But we realize that sometimes it is just more powerful to hear it straight from the source. This is one of those times. I might have been half joking when I told my family I wanted a genetic-spit test instead of a cake to celebrate my 46th birthday. But what better way to face a midlife crisis than to discover new mysteries lurking inside my DNA?
Thousands of people poured into the streets of Squirrel Hill for a protest to oppose President Donald Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Trump came to pay tribute to the slain victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting and visit some of the wounded in local hospitals. However, with some people blaming some of the nation’s recent violent acts on Trump’s rhetoric, many in Pittsburgh said Trump is not welcome, including some of the victims’ families. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald reportedly asked Trump to postpone his trip and did not agree to join Trump on his visit. The ‘Safety Through Solidarity’ protest started in Squirrel Hill while the ‘Stand Together in Solidarity’ protest started in Oakland.
Rev. Vincent Kolb said he was in shock when he heard news of the shooting, though the surprise quickly wore off, “given the escalation of rhetoric that has been xenophobic, misogynistic and racially inspired.”
A number of school district superintendents across Allegheny County posted messages of condolences on district websites, sent email blasts letting families know that counselors were available and outlining resources for helping children with anxiety in the shooting’s aftermath.
The suspect in the shooting deaths of 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill on Saturday made a reference in social media posts to HIAS as an organization that “likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.”