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Jonathan Potts

I read a book, written about six years ago, called "Comeback Cities" that described successful efforts to revitalize rundown neighborhoods in several cities nationwide. (The authors did not look at downtowns, focusing mostly on predominantly residential neighborhoods and former housing projects.) While some public investment was necessary, the successful plans always were generated by community organizations and neighborhood groups. Now, this takes the kind of grass-roots leadership that often is lacking, a problem that afflicts Pittsburgh. And it requires government to cede control, something that officials often are loathe to do.



Downtown development can take place at a grassroots level. Whether it's through the elusive invisible hand, or through programs, subsidy, or political/legal intervention, small investors (that is, people who have a lot more money than me to invest) can be attracted to Downtown. What's going to bring more of them to the table?

Sam M


I think the problem is pretty clear: There is no table.

Or there is one. But it is in some back room at city hall. Jack Piatt is going to sit there by himself. Because as always, the city wants to give someone exclusive rights to develop the URA properties.

So even if the grassroots effort was there, it would come to nothing.

Maybe that's why it's not there.

John Morris

I think it used eminent domain to get the table

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