It’s a centuries-long road paved with remarkable stories of innovation, resilience and transformation, and now, one of the top news media figures is sharing the unique evolution of Pittsburgh.
For the latest stop in her series, Cities Rising: Rebuilding America, Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric takes a look at the technology, innovation and arts revitalizing Pittsburgh.
Don’t miss the 12-minute video produced by Yahoo Studios that accompanies the article, Pittsburgh: Innovation in the Steel City. The well-produced video features archival footage and historic images (there’s even footage of CMU’s Robotics Institute assisting with the nuclear meltdown accident at Three Mile Island), contemporary photography, neighborhood shots, and interviews with many inspiring local change makers. Featured in the video are conversations with Mike Gable from Construction Junction, Red Whittaker from CMU’s Robotics Institute, Carl Meyers from Project RE, Michael Olijnyk from the Mattress Factory, Mayor Bill Peduto, Henry Reese from City Asylum, Abby Fudor from Arcade Comedy Theater, and others.
In the accompanying article by Kelli Hill, Pittsburgh is described as a “hub for innovation, arts and culture.”
When discussing Pittsburgh’s role following the collapse of the steel economy, Mayor Bill Peduto says:
“There were forward-thinking people in this town that weren’t simply looking at ‘How do we reopen the mills?’ but ‘Why don’t we create a new economy?’ They were creating this ecosystem for technology, life sciences and engineering to take a foothold.”
The feature goes on to showcase the pioneering role played by Pittsburgh’s world-class institutions of higher learning:
“The robotics revolution in Pittsburgh began just as the steel industry all but disappeared. Since 1979, Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute has been on the cutting edge of this growing field, creating groundbreaking robots for work, home and the space beyond while bringing new people and businesses to the city. There have been more than 30 spinoff companies since robotics arrived in Pittsburgh.”
Local community-based partnerships and nonprofit leaders working to improve Pittsburgh are also highlighted:
“Project RE is tapping into the city’s sometimes forgotten resources by connecting builders and architects with former convicts. The nonprofit is a co-venture of Carnegie Mellon’s Urban Design Build Studio, the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh and Construction Junction, a reused building materials retailer, in whose 100,000-square-foot facility the new venture is based. The group is currently working on affordable housing solutions for the community, built with repurposed materials.”
Pittsburgh’s rich and diverse arts scene is also a central part of the city’s identity. Yahoo News cites the transformation of the downtown Cultural District, new arts organizations such as Arcade Comedy Theater—which has been named one of the country’s top 50 comedy theaters—and cultural projects taking shape all across the city’s North Side.
What’s next for Pittsburgh?
Mayor Peduto chimes in: “When I think of Pittsburgh’s future, I think of our past. It’s branded in steel, and it’s one that understands that change is inevitable, progress is not. I think that the future of Pittsburgh is one that remains a small community, knitted together by neighborhoods, and a global innovation center that will change the world.”