Greatness is what wins international attention--greatness in vision, leadership, innovation. Pittsburgh is a city that, thanks to its congenial attitude and ecologically rich setting, is particularly well-suited to becoming a global model of the "Humane Metropolis" discussed in the previous post. Most of the Pittsburghers I've met have had a real sense of pride in place; though they may not live there, they have strong feelings about their hometown. Thus, their own pride is, in part, tied to the fortunes of the city. Re-shaping Pittsburgh as the new model of greatness for healthy urban regions in the coming century could serve as an excellent means for inspiring members of the diaspora to contribute to the prosperity of their former home.
I've struggled with identifying a cause that might rally the Burgh Diaspora. Brendan, the person behind the Where blog, describes an effort worthy of Pittsburgh and its expatriates. I don't know if I could successfully pin down Pittsburgh pride, but I think Brendan is at least in the ballpark. As an outsider (and like Brendan, a connoisseur of place), I do sense a greatness about Pittsburgh. Perhaps that greatness has allowed the city to remain stoic in the face of adversity for too long. Eventually, that greatness will be channeled in a more productive direction.