Saturday, August 25, 2007

East Coast Connected

Today, Nova Scotia is in the diaspora news. Dartmouth-born/Toronto-resident Chris Crowell is the president of East Coast Connected, a non-profit that seeks to promote the connectivity between world city Toronto and Atlantic Canada:

Atlantic Canadians who have moved away still represent a valuable resource to the Atlantic Provinces. Instead of brain drain, East Coast Connected (ECC) will promote brain circulation - allowing both Atlantic Canada and Toronto to benefit from the best of what each region has to offer through the free flow of capital, knowledge and creativity.

East Coast Connected's suggested geography brings together the Atlantic Provinces in terms of their relationship with Toronto, somewhat redefining the region. ECC is a fine example of the Manifesto for a New Pittsburgh in action and demonstrates the universality of our framework.

The differences between our respective projects concern the design of the network. The Burgh Diaspora project imagines Pittsburgh as a hub with spokes radiating out in all directions to the locations of expatriates. ECC's model places the hub of Atlantic Canada in Toronto, Ontario (skipping right over French Canada in the process).

Of course, Network Pittsburgh is still an open question. We could align with other shrinking cities or form a larger contiguous region that might include Eastern Ohio, Northern West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, and Western New York. Looking at the GlobalErie initiative, might a relationship with the DC region serve to bring coherence to the aforementioned area?

To date, the energy of Global Connect: Pittsburgh is decidedly California-centric. CMU is linking up with Silicon Valley and Carl Kurlander is developing a bit of Hollywood back in the Burgh. Sheer numbers suggest Washington, DC as a third spoke and Creative New York may demand a fourth. Charlotte is Pittsburgh's toehold in the New South and Tampa-St. Pete is where Yinzers like to retire. Six places are likely too ambitious for starters, but those are the main Burgh Diaspora centers that come to my mind.

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