Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Silicon Valley Burgh

In the Winter 2007 issue of the Pittsburgh Quarterly, CMU West Dean Jim Morris advises that Pittsburgh bury the past and head boldly into the future. The point of resonance for the Burgh Diaspora is accepting the going along with the coming:

It’s OK to send some of our older companies to New York where Carnegie and Frick went a century ago. Existing industrial cultures tend to suppress the growth of new ones. Many top-tier high technology cities — Austin, Seattle, Raleigh-Durham and San Diego — started with modest wealth and small industries.

Instead of mourning the loss of Mellon Financial to New York City, celebrate the expansion of Westinghouse and the emerging alternative energy economy. We have witnessed over the last few days the outmigration of the old and the inmigration of the new, positive news for Pittsburgh. As far as I'm concerned, the Pens and Pirates should be next. Of course, I couldn't endure the exit of the Steelers.

The Steelers connect Pittsburgh with its Diaspora, the framework for Morris' suggestion that Pittsburgh "overcome geography with the internet." Connectivity is an emerging metric for gauging economic development. The New Pittsburgh is already thriving in cities around the country. There are Austin Burgh and Raleigh-Durham Burgh, homes to Cool Pittsburgh. Fittingly, Morris offers just the kind of outsider's insider perspective that Pittsburgh so desperately needs.

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