Market Square. Photo by Tracy Certo.

The Atlantic is focusing all kinds of attention on Pittsburgh lately. In the latest article on why millennials love our city, writer John Tierney talks to five Pittsburghers, including Scott Bricker and Lena Andrews.

“They’re now married, both 35, and are enthusiastic boosters of Pittsburgh, saying, “The quality of life here is so amazing.”

Lena Andrews and Scott Bricker   (Photo: John Tierney)

They tick off the list of plusses: affordability; decent transit; beautiful green spaces; stunning architecture; historic housing stock; alluring topography … They laugh when I pretend to run out of fingers to count all these positives. “Well, even though we’ve lived here most of our lives, we still have days where we think ‘Pittsburgh is just so beautiful.’ We have to pinch ourselves.”

When they first came back to Pittsburgh in their early 20s, there weren’t many young people there. Andrews says Pittsburgh then “was listed as having the second-oldest population in the country after Miami-Dade County.” She laughed and said, “We’d go to these meetings where they were trying to attract young people, and we’d see that the cut-off was 50 years old, and we’d think What’s going on here!?” Now, she says, they’re considered old-timers by “all these young people in their 20s” who are flooding into the city.

They understand and appreciate that influx because they’ve worked hard over the last decade as planners and advocates to enhance the city’s appeal – its green spaces, its walkability and bikeability. “There’s a lot of great place-making going on here. So, people are excited and interested, They say, ‘Wait a second, this isn’t just a former steel town; this is a beautiful, green city that I can live in without a car, and it has a lot of great amenities, and I want to be a part of it.’” Andrews says it’s barely exaggerating when she notes, “Every friend who visits us here wants to start looking at houses.”

In addition, Tierney talked to Stephan Bontrager, of Riverlife, Patrick Doyle, who wrote about traveling the country to find the best place to live and landing on Pittsburgh,  and Wendy Downs, founder of Moop.

He concludes the piece by writing: If Horace Greeley were around today, he’d probably edit himself: “Go west, young man, go west.” “Go to Pittsburgh, young person, go to Pittsburgh.”

Read the full article here.

NEXT staff

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.