Katrina Struloeff came to Pittsburgh from Oregon for a graduate degree and stayed for the scenery, affordable living and the social and civic opportunities that larger cities don't generally offer young adults.
"You're not just another face in the crowd," said Struloeff, 24. "You can find your niche and get involved fairly easily."
Ms. Struloeff articulates the heart of Rust Belt Chic: Opportunity in an urban frontier. Young adults can shape the city, enjoying the benefits of being a big fish in a small pond. Austin, Seattle, and Minneapolis were like this in the early 1990s. Furthermore, Pittsburgh is getting younger while most other cities are aging.
I'm still amazed that Pittsburgh has done so well with the demographic deck stack against it. I predict that the region will continue to enjoy relative economic prosperity over the next decade or so. The Burgh is back.