Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pittsburgh: Well, Just Look at You.

I first noticed it in the upward mobility information.  Taken as a whole, America isn't really the land of opportunity.  When it comes to intergenerational mobility, we are close to the bottom of the world's industrial countries.  The UK does worse than we do, but that's because they haven't shed the old class structure that we love so much in Downton Abbey.

But, America is nothing if not diverse.  And, as shown in a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, it turns out that, depending on what part of the country you look at, upward mobility changes significantly.  Thus, Upward mobility is lowest in the Southeast and highest in the Great Plains. The West Coast and Northeast also have high rates of upward mobility.  In any event, to my surprise, out of the top 50 population areas, Pittsburgh was ranked second in the country for absolute upward intergenerational mobility.  

But then more stuff starts popping up.  On February 4, 2014, Politico Magazine published two articles on Pittsburgh.  One item, The Political Makeover of a Rust Belt City, is about the new mayor, Bill Peduto, changing Pittsburgh from an old boys network to a new progressive city.  The second item, The Robots that Saved Pittsburgh, describes how Pittsburgh, after decades of trying to remake itself, now has a new economy, based on a rapidly growing robotic, artificial intelligence, health technology, advanced manufacturing and software industries.  It looks like Pittsburgh is on the cutting edge of everything.

Also from Politico, two photo essays:  From Steel City to Roboburgh, the reinvention of Pittsburgh, and Robots at Work, a visit to CMU's Robotics Institute.

Pittsburgh, yes, just look at you.

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