By Saniah Tolbert (Senior, McKeesport Area High School)
Last night was the inaugural reception for the Remaking Cities Congress. Hosted in the beautifully decorated College of Fine Arts of Carnegie Mellon University, the reception was a great way to kick start the 4-day long Congress. It foreshadowed the great things that are surely to come at the end of this Congress.
In the spirit of good hopes that comes with being set in Pittsburgh (obviously!), the delegates were very excited to take part in the second Remaking Cities Congress. Some of them first-time Pittsburghers, delegates were enthusiastic to see many changes of the city, and learning about how Pittsburgh rose again after the tragic collapse of the steel industry.
In recent years following the collapse of the steel industry, Pittsburgh and its inhabitants have transformed the city into a world of wonders. How could a city who suffered so greatly from the fall of its key economic resource manifest itself into the amazing place that it is today? Well, one could simply argue that that’s just the Pittsburgh way of doing things, but that would be fairly bias (although it’s true). Better yet, they could present how Pittsburgh has accomplished so much, success after success. They could present how Pittsburgh was named “most-livable city” by neither one, nor two, but three major magazines! They could present how Pittsburgh has world renowned hospitals, universities, research centers, and museums that make it a great tourist attraction. Even further, one could tell of the nine Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered Downtown Pittsburgh. In the end, Pittsburgh is the epitome of a city remade.
“There are a lot of good lessons to learn from Pittsburgh”, said director of the Center for City Park Excellence, Peter Harnik. And with that statement, he spoke the thoughts of many other delegates. Many delegates have expressed that, by the end of the Congress, they wish to reveal the troubles that affect their parts of the world and to learn something new that will help them resolve those issues. In other words, they want to give and take, which they are sure to do. Not only will delegates snack on eggrolls, chicken, and tuna, but they will also participate in mobile workshops, addresses, study teams, and theme workshops while attending the Congress.
The second Remaking Cities Congress is sure to be nothing but an innovative, productive, and beneficial event to our cities.