Monday, August 24, 2009

Urban Renewal Diaspora

Picked up at Null Space, Next American City takes aim at the latest Pittsburgh renaissance:

Still, what the report and conference participants stressed is “The Rest of the Story.” Pittsburgh is well-deserving of the praise it receives, but it must be recognized that the city is only “halfway to a success story.” There are many more jobs to be created and something is still to be done about the dwindling population. The more important lesson to be learned by Pittsburgh is that an “invisible hand didn’t save Pittsburgh….Planning did.”

Paul Farmer, a Shreveport native and CEO of the Chicago-based American Planning Association, dropped in on the forum to observe. He was in town visiting family.

Farmer got interested in planning soon after he saw Shreveport's last plan, which came together 50 years ago under Mayor Jim Gardner. That document led to the construction of Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway and Interstate 220.

Shreveport's population has been static for decades, but its borders have stretched. That will continue to be a major challenge, said Farmer, who has worked to revitalize cities such as Pittsburgh and Minneapolis.

So, Burghophiles, what role did Farmer have in Pittsburgh's revitalization? I sense a Tom Murphy connection story coming.

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