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Key Indicators for Understanding Our Region

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Banking Against Blight

Local governments and community groups have long waged war against blight. Now, a new ordinance also opened the door for the City of Pittsburgh to establish a land bank to address its vacancy-related issues, not the least of which is how to turn around the seven percent of city residential property that is both tax-delinquent and abandoned.

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Reimagining Public Health

Dr. Karen Hacker is changing the way public health is practiced in Allegheny County, focusing on improving local health data and community engagement.

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The 2015 Economic Outlook

Southwestern Pennsylvania looks to be in solid economic shape for 2015, according to PNC Financial Services Group's chief economist Stuart Hoffman. Employment is holding near all-time highs, and an historic low unemployment rate of 4.1 percent may be in sight for the seven-county region in 2016.

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Behind the Times: The Limited Role of Minorities in the Greater Pittsburgh Workforce

The southwestern Pennsylvania workforce is lacking in diversity by almost any measure. And the discrepancies seen in labor force participation, the type of jobs minority workers hold, and the incomes they earn, are issues with implications for the region’s economy, businesses and citizens.

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Ringing in 2015

With a new year comes resolutions. Here are a few we at PittsburghTODAY feel are important for southwestern Pennsylvania as a region and people in 2015. They’re tough. But if they were easy, we would’ve achieved them by now.

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The State of Aging in Allegheny County

Older adults are growing in number and influence across the region and the nation. See the new report, The State of Aging in Allegheny County, to learn about the demographic phenomenon that has profound implications for everyone in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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Growing Smarter

Since the mid-19th century, sprawl has oozed out from American cities. A national study has ranked Greater Pittsburgh near the middle of the pack in sprawl among 221 U.S. metro areas. But things are changing around Pittsburgh in unexpected ways.

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Reasons to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and appreciation of all things that make life good. With that in mind, here a few reasons for southwestern Pennsylvanians to give thanks that might otherwise be overlooked when we gather with family and friends for that Thursday feast.

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Boo N'at

Greater Pittsburgh often ranks among the best places to live thanks to a list of attributes ranging from a low cost of living to a quality arts and culture scene. But all is not right. Lurking in the shadows are a few indicators guaranteed to send a chill down your spine this Halloween season.

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Congressional Districts - 2014

What is the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District? What percentage of those who live in the 14th District have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher? How many houses stand vacant in the 18th? Are there more people of Italian ancestry in the 12th District than Irish?

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Is Better Good Enough?

The Pittsburgh region has seen the overall quality of its air improve over the past few decades. Yet, levels of key air pollutants remain stubbornly higher those in most other regions across the nation, raising the question: Is doing better good enough?

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Bike City

More people are biking in Pittsburgh, according to data and similar anecdotes. And everyone from planners and the city’s new mayor to national biking organizations are taking notice.

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Eco Tips Series

According to PittsburghTODAY’s Regional Environment Survey, nearly 79 percent of regional residents believe there is little or nothing they can do to solve environmental problems. In light of this finding, PittsburghTODAY is producing this Eco Tips series, intended to show steps citizens can take to improve the environment.

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Pittsburgh Emerges as a Low-Price Leader in Health Insurance

Pittsburgh has emerged as one of the nation’s lowest-priced health insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act. Insurance marketplaces created by the Act offer a menu of private sector plans covering a range of benefits packages and premium prices. Federal data show that the Pittsburgh region has some of the country’s lowest premiums.

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Frigid, Snowy and Gray

It’s been a remarkably long, hard winter in Pittsburgh – and the numbers tell the story. Counting the clear days requires only a few fingers. In the 70 days from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28, only two were clear, according to the National Weather Service, which defines a clear day as one with less than 1/4 average cloud cover.

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Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2014

The 2014 Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow report, produced by Pittsburgh Today, analyzes recent data to assess the Pittsburgh region's standing compared with 14 U.S. cities in 10 categories. Also included are numerous in-depth reports focusing on the most important issues facing Greater Pittsburgh.

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Rough Roads Aplenty, Despite Improvements

With the bite of winter come bumpy rides as pothole season takes over Pittsburgh’s roads, many of which are already in need of considerable repair, the latest pavement condition data suggest.

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Has Pittsburgh Been Naughty or Nice?

PittsburghTODAY looked at our indicators and checked them twice to see if southwestern Pennsylvania is deserving of a gift under the tree or a lump of coal. Here is what we found.

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10 Pittsburgh Reasons to be Thankful

On the occasion of this great American holiday, PittsburghTODAY scoured the statistical landscape and found plenty of reasons why we, as a region, should be thankful. Here are 10 to consider this Thanksgiving.

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2013 Pittsburgh Regional Environment Survey

In May 2013, more than 800 men and women living in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) were interviewed by telephone for a survey about the environment conducted by the University of Pittsburgh University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) and PittsburghTODAY. In order to better understand what's important to our region's residents about the environment - their behaviors and attitudes - we present the 2013 Pittsburgh Regional Environment Survey.

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Pittsburgh Then and Now

Finally, a day at the ballpark means more than an electric green parrot launching hot dogs from an air gun, racing pierogies and postcard views of the Downtown skyline. The Pirates have won enough games to avoid a losing season – an accomplishment that 20 percent of the southwestern Pennsylvania population born after 1992 had never witnessed. By defeating the Milwaukee Brewers last night, the Pirates snapped a losing streak of 20 consecutive seasons that had stood as the longest in the history of professional sports. Twenty years is a long drought.

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STEM

In the decade ending in 2020, United States employers will create about 2.1 million jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as the professional sector, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. As America moves to assert or retain leadership in such fields as robotics, unconventional energy plays and next-generation computers and telephony, that’s great news. The following is a three-part series on the STEM Gap and its imapct, now and long term, on the region. The final part of the series will be released in winter 2014.

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The Arts Engine

Pittsburgh has met the challenge - shared by other mid-American cities - of growing an art audience in a slow-growth city with an aging population. And while the amplified offerings of the seven main downtown presenters (the Trust, Symphony, Ballet Theatre, Opera, Public Theatre, Dance Council and CLO) have doubled their overall audience in the past 10 years, arts leaders are pushing ahead with strategies to lure a younger, more diverse audience.

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Finding Common Ground

The conversations began quietly two years ago in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. Could natural gas be harvested from shale without writing a new chapter in the legacy of tainted air and water that had been the price of nearly a century of steel making and mining in the region? And was there an appetite among energy companies and environmentalists for working together to find ways to do it?

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Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow 2013

PittsburghTODAY's third annual report reveals how the Pittsburgh region compares with our fifteen benchmark regions in eleven different categories. The 2013 report also includes commentary from local leaders and in-depth reporting about key issues facing the region.

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Marcellus Shale Brief

The most significant regional survey in decades shows residents of the Greater Pittsburgh area are of two minds when it comes to drilling for gas in the Marcellus Shale. While most see it as a chance to give the local economy a much-needed boost, they worry that damage to the environment and greater health risks are the price they’ll pay for new jobs and other benefits. And nowhere are the contrasts sharper than in Washington County, where drilling is highly concentrated and more residents say they have signed a drilling lease than anywhere else in the region, according to the Greater Pittsburgh Quality of Life Survey conducted by the University of Pittsburgh University Center for Urban and Social Research and PittsburghTODAY, which reports statistical indicators of regional importance.

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African Americans in Pittsburgh

Based on the findings from the Pittsburgh Regional Quality of Lifey Survey, the following articles examine the quality of life for African Americans living in Pittsburgh today.

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Young Adults Report 2012

Young adults play a crucial role in defining southwestern Pennsylvania today and in the coming years as workers, consumers, parents, neighbors, voters and leaders. This report draws the most comprehensive profile to date of the young men and women who are so vital to the region's future. It is based on PittsburghTODAY's reporting, as well as an extensive regional survey and focus groups conducted jointly by PittsburghTODAY and its colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR).

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The Pittsburgh Regional Quality of Life Survey

In order to understand where we are going, we must first understand where we are. In that spirit, we are pleased to release a distillation of the findings of the Pittsburgh Regional Quality of Life Survey, the most extensive survey of the residents of Greater Pittsburgh since the historic Pittsburgh Survey was published in 1908. Our intent in undertaking this survey was to use the most reliable methods possible to understand the behaviors and attitudes of Greater Pittsburgh’s citizens. We believe that this survey provides information that can be valuable both as an historic document and as a guide to inform decisions about this region’s future.

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Venture City

Pittsburgh is beginning to restore its long-dormant reputation for innovation and entrepreneurial excellence. It was here that high-profile entrepreneurs the likes of Andrew Carnegie and George Westinghouse built companies that came to define entire industries and generate vast wealth. But the region’s emergence as an industrial center came at a price: a large-company mentality took hold and lingered for decades, even as the foundations of its manufacturing economy began to crumble.

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Show Me the Money

It was hailed as a game changer. Almost immediately after the first Marcellus Shale natural gas well was spudded in a rocky hilltop in Washington County, unleashing for the first time a vast cache of domestically produced energy, the discovery was hailed as the harbinger of a revolution in energy production that would pump upwards of a trillion dollars into the economy. Much of that, it was claimed, would flow into the pockets of poor farmers, down-on-their-luck merchants, businessmen and entrepreneurs, and, even more important, into the coffers of local and county governments and the state’s treasury.

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Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow 2012

The PittsburghTODAY annual report reveals how well the Pittsburgh region is doing compared to fourteen other benchmark regions in ten categories. The 2012 report also includes commentary from local leaders and information about the Quality of Life Survey that was conducted last year.

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Nobody Home - The Rise of Vacancy

Abandoned houses and vacant lots are signs of a crisis spreading across the region, state and nation. In a special report, Nobody Home – The Rise of Vacancy, PittsburghTODAY takes an in-depth look at the people and places affected, the strategies that have failed to stem the spread of vacant and blighted properties and the innovative solutions that offer hope.

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Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow 2011

The PittsburghTODAY annual report offers a comprehensive look at the Pittsburgh metropolitan area with articles, observations of regional leaders, comparisons with benchmark cities and data covering arts, demographics, economy, education, environment, government, health, housing, public safety and transportation.

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