Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lawrenceville Highlighted by Financial Times of London

The Financial Times of London calls Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood a "Diamond in the Rust," and quotes former CMU professor Richard Florida's continuing admiration for the area.

"He did the research for the book that made his name, The Rise of the Creative Class, there, and he thinks Lawrenceville – with its inexpensive housing stock, growing number of restaurants, bars, arts outlets and specialty shops – has what it takes to attract and keep precisely the type of people he describes in that book – the designers, engineers, technology workers and artists he sees as the drivers of contemporary economic growth," the article states.

Florida, now director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and professor of business and creativity at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, has called Lawrenceville "an example of the kind of place that can be a ‘next neighborhood’.

"The air is clearer now and the city has regrouped around its concentration of urban universities, research facilities, hospitals, health services and the headquarters of eight Fortune 500 companies," writes author Henry Hamman. "And, in a way, the departure of the big industrial employers was actually a boon, allowing Pittsburgh to avoid the latest, massive rounds of layoffs and downsizings that have brought many Rust Belt cities to their knees.

"For urbanist Florida, Lawrenceville and Pittsburgh face the same challenge: to attract and hold enough of the new "creative class, building a critical mass and taking advantage of the new geography of work. Success at this will be the key to ensuring that the hard times really do 'come again no more.'"

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