Twenty-five years ago, urban planners, architects and civil engineers from around the country and the world convened in Pittsburgh with the specific aim of addressing the problems facing historically industrial cities in a post-industrial world.
The gathering, called the Remaking Cities Institute, involved days of closed-door meetings, idea exchanges and ultimately, a set of recommendations and principles for industrial cities around the world to set about pulling themselves out of their post-industrial funk.
From October 15th to 18th, the organization, now called the Remaking Cities Congress
, will gather 300 of the world’s leading urbanists here once again to review what worked, what didn’t and to issue a new list of recommendations which will inform and guide the next generation of urban planning policy for post-industrial cities from Pittsburgh to Germany’s Ruhr Valley.
“There were policy recommendations, and people walked away from [those sessions] and said, ‘we’re going to see how these affect our urban centers,’” says Pam Wigley, the director of media relations for Carnegie Mellon’s College of Fine Arts, who is helping to organize the congress. “The delegates have closed-door sessions on urban planning. They vote, they make decisions on policy, research and economic impact, among other things.”
Pittsburgh has benefitted from several of the recommendations put forth by the last gathering, including making substantial efforts to reclaim riverfronts and redevelop brownfields. Other involved areas, such as Detroit, have had substantially less success.
The congress’s honorary chair, Charles, the Prince of Wales, attended the 1988 conference in Pittsburgh, but this time will send a delegate in his stead and deliver his address via a videotaped message.
“Prince Charles has always had an interest in urban development and community planning,” Wigley says.
In addition to a series of invitation-only sessions, the congress will include several speakers such as Richard Florida and The Brookings Institute's Bruce Katz, as well as a host of tours and mobile workshops which will showcase various aspects of Pittsburgh's resurgence as case studies in post-industrial redevelopment.
Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Pam Wigley