Next City, an urban affairs non-profit and zine which explores the social, economic and environmental practices in urban areas around the country, is quite taken with our mayor. And justifiably so.

The internet zine published a 4,000-word feature on Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto today, glowing with praise for his receptive approach toward incorporating innovations of all sizes into a city government in the name of increasing efficiency. From the article:

James Garrett, the dean of CMU’s College of Engineering, approached Peduto at the conclusion of an event in March, wanting to tell the mayor about a new product his department had developed for monitoring road quality. About the size of a mobile phone, the device attaches to the undercarriage of a car.

Peduto instantly saw value in the idea and suggested that police cars, which drive around Pittsburgh neighborhoods every day, would be ideal hosts for the devices. Two days later, the idea found a way into one of his speeches.

“A stray comment made over a beer had very quickly become part of a very public conversation about modernizing the city,” writes author Jonathan Geeting, adding that by early May, the city was in the final stages of an agreement to begin installing the cameras on public works and police vehicles, and that they could be operational as soon as this fall.

“City bureaucracies aren’t exactly known for speedy movement, but for Pittsburgh’s newest mayor…making things happen is a way of life,” Geeting writes.

The piece looks at Peduto’s path to the mayor’s office, his wide-ranging and numerous policy initiatives and the ethos behind his approach to governing.

“It’s an approach that reflects Peduto’s place in a growing cohort of urban liberals who have married populist agendas with economic development platforms that prioritize smart-growth principles of density, transit-accessibility and livability,” notes the article.

Photos are by Pittsburgh’s own Martha Rial.

Accessing the full feature requires a subscription to Next City.

Matthew Wein is a local writer, editor, blogger, storyteller and proud native Pittsburgher. Once described as "a man of things," he covers city design, spirits and craft beer for NEXT, where he keeps all of the editorial meetings light-hearted and interesting. His interests include sorting books, looking at old things and candles which smell like old-growth pine forests.