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64 Downtown & The Cultural District Articles | Page: | Show All

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.

Pittsburgh with kids: an education in fun

How much fun is Kidsburgh for kids?

Read the story here.

Pittsburgh seeks to expand riverfront access to the public

"Pittsburgh exists for three reasons: the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio," writes Pittsburgh-based writer Christine O'Toole in the New York Times. "In the 20th century, the banks of those rivers were controlled by industrial behemoths. They largely lost that identity after the waning of the steel industry in the 1980s. Over the last two decades, however, the city’s progress in clearing and cleaning its waterfront has created 12 miles of recreational trails, three professional sports stadiums, several boat landings and an influx of nearly 2,000 new downtown residents.

"The city has managed to leverage a $124 million investment in publicly accessible riverfront into $4 billion in corporate, public, nonprofit and entertainment development downtown.

"That success has renewed a debate that would have been unthinkable in Pittsburgh’s polluted industrial heyday: how best to expand public access to the shorelines of the three rivers. Projects proposed for two of the largest tracts left to be developed on the downtown fringe illustrate the opportunities and limits of public-private partnerships..."

Read the full story here.


Pittsburgh holiday news in series of blogs

Want to keep up with holiday traditions and learn more about cool things to do over the holidays, as well as the history behind them? Look no further: read the blog series on Imagine Pittsburgh website.


A family's three day visit to Pittsburgh

"Pittsburgh is a really cool city, unlike any I’ve ever been in before," writes the author who brought her family to town for a three day visit." Read what she has to say about everything from our bridges, which her kids deemed very cool, to the clean and well-lit downtown and the thriving street scene.

Read the full story here.

Pittsburgh one of three cities to come back after recession

Three and a half years since the 2007-09 economic recession ended, only three major U.S. metropolitan areas are experiencing an economic recovery, according to the Brookings Institution, reports Reuters.

"The Washington-based research group has also deemed Dallas and Pittsburgh in recovery after analyzing their employment levels and gross domestic product per capita.

The United States has the most major metropolitan economies of all countries - 76 - according to an annual report on the 300 largest metropolitan economies worldwide that Brookings released on Friday.

"It was still better than last year when the U.S. had no metro recoveries," Brookings Associate Fellow Emilia Istrate said.
Istrate said the three cities had two features in common: strong local services such as healthcare, and business and financial services that cater to specific industries."

Read the full story here.

PNC earns perfect score in top place to work for gays and lesbians

PNC was just named one of the 2013 Best Places to Work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Equality in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index, scoring a perfect 100 points.

Over the past 11 years, the CEI has become the gold standard for corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees and their families. The CEI rates companies on 40 such policies and practices. A total of 889 businesses have been rated in the 2013 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. This year a record 293 of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses have an official CEI rating, with the other 201 rated based upon publicly-available data.


Read the full report here.

MAYA designers on their new book, Trillions

In this excerpt from "Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology" by Peter Lucas,
Joe Ballay and Mickey McManus (Wiley, 2012), the principals at MAYA present the challenges we face in this information age.


"There are already many more computing devices in the world than there are people. In a few more years, their number will climb into the trillions. Moreover, we are quickly figuring out how to make those processors communicate with each other, and with us. We are about to be faced with -- not a trillion isolated devices -- but a trillion-node network: a network whose scale and complexity will dwarf that of today's Internet. And, unlike the Internet, this will be a network not of computation that we use, but of computation that we live in..."

Read the excerpt here in the Huffington Post.

Pittsburgh named as Under the Radar Cultural Destination

The Scene: Struggling industrial center turned cultural breeding ground.

The Signature: Museums. Visit the iconic Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky St.; warhol.org) for an infusion of pop art, the Carnegie Museum of Art (4400 Forbes Ave.; cmoa.org) for an upcoming exhibit on modern decorative arts and the Mattress Factory (500 Sampsonia Way; mattress.org) for “room-sized” installations of contemporary art. 

Insider Knowledge: While Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (fallingwater.org) is the city’s most famous architectural landmark, H. H. Richardson’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church (emmanuelpgh.org) is worth a visit. The building features Tiffany windows and a wood interior reminiscent of an inverted ship’s hull.

Don’t Miss: The Pittsburgh Glass Center (5472 Penn Ave.; pittsburghglasscenter.org), where visitors can tour galleries of ornate glasswork or take a glassblowing class themselves.

Read the Pittsburgh and other blurbs here.

Tower at PNC Plaza wins green award before it's even built

"PNC's new tower at Fifth and Wood just won the 2012 Evergreen On the Boards award. "A request to build the greenest high-rise in the world is a tall order. But that’s precisely what Gary Saulson, executive vice president and director of corporate real estate for PNC Financial Services Group, asked of the design team behind the company’s new headquarters, the 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza in Pittsburgh, which will exceed LEED Platinum standards when it opens in 2015.

"The design team, including Gensler and sustainability consultants Paladino & Co., established three pillars that guided each design decision: community building, workplace innovator, and climate responder. The tower’s passive and active features encourage employees to take ownership of their workspaces. The breathing building is wrapped by a double-skin façade with a motorized outer layer and manually operable inner layer. Outdoor spaces interspersed throughout the building include a semi-conditioned atrium, dubbed the “community porch,” as well as green terraces at setbacks, providing a diverse array of collaborative workspaces."

Read the full story here.

64 Downtown & The Cultural District Articles | Page: | Show All
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