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Local companies make Forbes list of best employers

Four major companies from our region are among Forbes magazine’s 2015 best U.S. employers: The University of Pittsburgh, PPG, Alcoa and Mylan.

Of the four, Pitt came in at No. 91 -- the only one that placed in the top 100. With a local, full-time force numbering upwards of 12,000 workers, Pitt also stands among the city’s big three non-government employers.

Not far behind, PPG landed on the list at No. 159. Alcoa followed at 223. The pharmaceutical giant Mylan claimed its spot at No. 292; its Washington County headquarters made it the only ranked Pittsburgh-area company located outside of the city.

Also listed within regional proximity was Sheetz. Headquartered in Altoona, Blair County, the massive convenience center-gas chain continues to hold a hefty presence in Pittsburgh. It came in at No. 181.

The top 500 U.S. employers were chosen based on an independent survey given to 20,000 employees across 25 different industries. All employees responded anonymously. The survey was administered to larger companies and institutions with a minimum workforce of 2,500, including U.S. divisions of international firms.

View all 500 companies here.  

 

Earth Day celebrates sustainability and success

The worldwide Earth Day event on April 22 has special significance here in Pittsburgh. This year, Pittsburgh Earth Day marks the recent advancements our city has created in sustainability, technology, and innovation.

Involvement in the day’s lineup springs from sources ranging from the local business community gathering for a speakers’ breakfast to the fashion shows, exhibitors, music, pop-up dance party and the food truck festival that will follow.

Events will take place throughout the day in Market Square and Mellon Square in Downtown and Schenley Plaza in Oakland.

See the full lineup of events here.

 

Three Rivers Arts Festival now voted No. 1

The probability of rain during the Three Rivers Arts Festival’s 10-day run each year can't spoil the fun of festival goers. Nor has it dampened the interest of the experts at USA Today, who nominated 20 arts festivals across the United States so that readers may cast their votes for the top 10.

Of those 20 nominations, USA Today readers are currently ranking the Three Rivers Arts Festival at No. 1. It leads similarly sized arts events in major metro centers like New York City, San Francisco and Chicago.

Readers can vote until 11:59 a.m. on April 13 and may cast no more than one vote per day.

Check current rankings and cast your vote.

Highbrow Magazine calls Pittsburgh 'a foodie playground'

Pittsburgh's restaurant scene is attracting ambitious young chefs intent on creating the next big food town, according to a recent article in Highbrow Magazine. 

In "How Pittsburgh Became a Dining Destination," Pittsburgh native Beth Kaiserman details the evolution of Pittsburgh cuisine from smothered under French fries to full-blown foodie playground, thanks to an annual Restaurant Week and inventive hot spots in the Cultural District and beyond.

Read the full article here.
 

Penn Ave. bike lane among top 10 nationally

National bicycling group PeopleForBikes named America’s top 10 new bike lanes of the year and included Pittsburgh’s Penn Avenue bike lane in the mix.

Green Lane Project staff writer Michael Anderson details protected bike lanes in cities including San Francisco, Portland, and Memphis before describing the rapid execution of Pittsburgh’s on-street biking network.

“Pittsburgh has always been a city of action, and that’s its style with bike lanes too,” writes Anderson.

To read the full story, click here.
 

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is key to city's recent renaissance, says The Atlantic

In the latest installment of its American Futures series, The Atlantic magazine digs into Pittsburgh’s recent past, particularly the role of an organization created three decades ago – the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

In the article “How the arts drove Pittsburgh’s revitalization,” reporter John Tierney explains that Pittsburgh’s turnaround efforts are widely regarded for its sensible, clearheaded approach based on preservation.

Tierney writes:

“In looking at Pittsburgh’s impressive revival, it’s important to take note of the key role played over the last 30 years by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, an organization that has managed one of the city’s most vivid transformations, turning a large part of downtown that had been overtaken by porn shops, strip clubs, massage parlors and sleazy bars into a lively, safe and attractive district for cultural arts and entertainment.”

Read the full article here.
 

Huffington Post praises restoration of Mellon Square

The restoration of Mellon Square recently landed at the top of Huffington Post’s national list of notable landscape architecture developments of 2014.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation President Charles Birnbaum writes “modernism got a big boost” due to the efforts of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City of Pittsburgh to bring the iconic Downtown park back to its original splendor.

The first park built over a parking garage, Mellon Park was conceived as an oasis, a gathering space amid dense corporate buildings, Birnbaum explains.

Read the full article here.
 

For Millennials, Pittsburgh is 'Land of Opportunity'

The Atlantic’s latest investigation into what makes our region tick dives deep into the youthful enthusiasm of a cross-section of Pittsburgh boosters.

In an article titled “What Millennials Love About Pittsburgh,” writer John Tierney expounds upon recent research showing that Pittsburgh – with its abundance of both affordability and mobility -- still offers a shot at the American Dream when many U.S. cities are unable to.

“It’s a very good time to be in Pittsburgh if you’re a young person (need we call them ‘Millennials?’),” Tierney writes. “So, if you’re roughly in that age cohort and now living somewhere else – in a place where opportunities seem limited – consider a move to the City of Bridges.”

Meet Pittsburgh’s biggest proponents here.
 

A Luxury Travel Blog shares Pittsburgh's top five treasures

Looking for the lap of luxury in Pittsburgh? The finest elegance in the City of Steel can be found in five exquisite places, according to A Luxury Travel Blog.

Among the treasures: the Grand Concourse Restaurant, The Frick Art & Historical Center, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel, and Wigle Whiskey.

“A beautiful city of contrasts full of grand historic sites mixed with modern dynamic sites firmly rooted in the future,” writes blogger Jennifer Berg.

Travelers with a taste for the finer things in life would do well to explore Pittsburgh’s luxurious offerings, Berg says.

Read the full blog post here.
 

One last shot of summerís supermoon

An almost supernatural photo of the September supermoon looming over PPG Place, shot by Pittsburgh photographer Dave Dicello, made a chilling appearance when it was featured on Time.com earlier this month.

“I knew that the moon would make its way over the city about an hour after it rose, giving me time to get to Point State Park, where this photo was made,” DiCello said. “With the moon sitting in the spires above the PPG Building and using a 70-200 lens and a 2X teleconverter, I was able to capture a haunting scene of the harvest moon over the Steel City.”

When the full moon hits its closest point in Earth’s orbit, the result is a larger and brighter-than-average natural phenomenon. When it hangs amid clouds over an illuminated PPG Place, the result is something close to a larger-than-life Gotham City.

See the stunning photo here.
 

Chicago blogger rallies in support of a bikeable Pittsburgh

Despite the negativity coming from Pittsburgh cab drivers, blogger Matt Carmichael says Pittsburgh's efforts at bikeability give him hope. 

During a recent visit to Pittsburgh for the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Conference, Carmichael noted the protected bike lanes installed outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and started asking around.

While Mayor Bill Peduto told conference attendees he wants his city to be among the most bike-friendly in the nation, Carmichael argued with the cabbies who see cyclists as a traffic nuisance.

In the end, Carmichael vouched his support for the placemaking movement represented by Pittsburgh’s latest protected bike lanes running along Penn Avenue from Sixth Street to 16th Street.

Read Carmichael’s full post here.

The importance of BRT

In a piece about the boons and challenges of Bus Rapid Transit running into downtown areas across the country, Atlantic Cities writer Eric Jaffe points to both Pittsburgh and Cleveland as examples of where it's working and the challenges it faces.

"Take the case of the East Busway — a dedicated BRT highway in metro Pittsburgh," Jaffe writes. "The busway has done loads of good for the city: it's stimulated hundreds of millions of dollars in development and contributed to the 38 percent of city commuters who reach downtown by bus. [The Institute for Transportataion and Development Policy] recently gave it a bronze BRT rating."

However, he does point out that bus traffic gets terrible once you get downtown and that angsty businesses have led the Port Authority, with the backing of Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Peduto to consider creating a "bus free zone" downtown.

The article contends that many cities have made the critical error of relegating BRT to curbside lanes with mixed traffic, rather than dedicated lanes along the medians of roads. This mistake makes BRT inefficient and has therefore given the form of transit a bad rap. But BRT done right can be extremely effective. However, sometimes it's a lack of political will to address the PR problems that come along with BRT that is the problem.

"But the fight is worth it," Annie Weinstock, a U.S. regional director for Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, told The Atlantic, "because building sub-par BRT — or, worse, calling something BRT when it's not — reinforces negative public perception of the entire mode. Over time, that preconception makes city residents resistant to the idea from the start."

A guide to Pittsburgh's indie movie theaters

Emma, a blogger for iheartpgh.com, offers up a twist on a familiar summer ritual. "When the weather starts heating up, sometimes the only thing to do is go inside. This season many of us will take to the air-conditioned refuge of our local megaplexes. To switch things up, I offer you a list of local independently owned theaters. Many of the theaters screen the same new releases, but also provide character and unique programming."

To read Emma's sweet guide to Pittsburgh's little guy theaters, click here.

The Walls Come Tumbling Down for Bricolage, Clear Story and partners

Bricolage Production Company is featured in a recent article about the growing popularity of Immersive Theater, a genre of theater based on audience involvement as a part of the show. "A one-on-one experience for every audience member was offered in STRATA, a production mounted in summer 2012 by Pittsburgh-based Bricolage Production Company. The difference was that in each room, the STRATA visitor was given a choice of where to go next. The effect, though, is the same: Not every person followed the same track.
 
“We really wanted to address the homogenization of art, and theatre in general. When bringing an audience all at once into the same space, the audience gets cues from each other on how they’re supposed to respond,” says STRATA co-creator and Bricolage artistic director Jeffrey Carpenter. “Ultimately, theSTRATA experience was about you, and it was so individualized that nobody had the same experience.”

To read more from the Theatre Communications Group about Bricolage and Immersive Theater, including their Pittsburgh partners, click here.

Pittsburgh as one of 15 U.S. emerging downtowns

"The northeastern industrial hub's downtown, which by the late 1980s had succumbed to an exodus of businesses and people, has slowly begun to turn around. Class A office space as of the third quarter of 2012 was 94.5% leased, compared to 85% a decade earlier. PNC Financial opened a $170 million-plus office tower in 2009, with a $400 million second tower under construction now. The area's population was about 8,000, according to the U.S. Census, up 21% from 2000. Since 2009, 219 new housing units have come to market, with another 346 under construction, according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. To put this in perspective, the number of residential developments has more than doubled in the past 30 years, the majority of new projects erected in the past seven."

See Pittsburgh and the other cities listed here.
73 Downtown & The Cultural District Articles | Page: | Show All
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