First, we were named the most livable city in the country. Now Pittsburgh is being heralded as the most disruptive and innovative city in the world.

Pittsburgh received a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award on Friday night, a honor that recognizes the city’s creative initiatives in early childhood education through the Kids+Creativity network.

The award typically goes to those making strides in medicine, art or other fields. In Pittsburgh’s case, the win was one for children around the world.

“Our region has always been known for its innovation and creativity and is a place where children and youth have more learning opportunities because of the focus on making children a priority,” said country executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald accepted the award on behalf of the region in New York City on Friday night along with Gregg Behr, executive director of the Grable Foundation, and Cathy Lewis Long, executive director of The Sprout Fund, pivotal forces behind the Kids+Creativity Network.

“The Kids+Creativity Network is the perfect example of that. More than 1,000 individuals–from artists to educators to engineers–are involved in working together to remake learning in our region and the way that we teach,” Fitzgerald added. “We have proven that together we can make a difference. Our region continues to shine using that model.”

Pittsburgh has been at the forefront of an international movement of cities working to remake learning for children and youth, especially in the areas of STEAM learning: sciences, technology, engineering, art and math.

While the award typically highlights individuals, Manchester in the United Kingdom received disruptive accolades in 2013 for urban innovation. The city was recognized for several innovative urban initiatives instrumental in rebuilding the region’s economy.

“We’re connecting our region’s best assets, its people and institutions, and supporting their collaboration at the edges of innovation,” said Lewis Long. “It’s an honor to receive this award on behalf of the hundreds of educators, researchers, technologists, and community leaders working every day to create new opportunities for our region’s children and youth to learn.”

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared...