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wanderer34

Why no major immigration in Pittsburgh?

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wanderer34    0

Why is that??? We do have a similar, but not greater dilemma right here in Phila, in which we do get immigrants, but not on the same scale as NYC, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Houston, and even freakin' ATL!!! I think with it's high-tech economy Pittsburgh is trying out, they should expand with Indians and Chinese. Heck, yall should even start to form a bigger, better Chinatown east of the Strip District to compete with Cleveland's. Also, try to get Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in your beautiful cities. the reason nobody comes to PGH is because nobody's ever heard of it.

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Evergrey    0

Why is that??? We do have a similar, but not greater dilemma right here in Phila, in which we do get immigrants, but not on the same scale as NYC, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Houston, and even freakin' ATL!!! I think with it's high-tech economy Pittsburgh is trying out, they should expand with Indians and Chinese. Heck, yall should even start to form a bigger, better Chinatown east of the Strip District to compete with Cleveland's. Also, try to get Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in your beautiful cities. the reason nobody comes to PGH is because nobody's ever heard of it.

Didn't you start this exact same topic over at SkyscraperPage?

Anyways... Pittsburgh IS attracting "Indians and Chinese" with their high-tech economy. Though the immigration numbers are small... Pittsburgh is tops when it comes to percentage of college-educated immigrants.

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wanderer34    0

Didn't you start this exact same topic over at SkyscraperPage?

Anyways... Pittsburgh IS attracting "Indians and Chinese" with their high-tech economy. Though the immigration numbers are small... Pittsburgh is tops when it comes to percentage of college-educated immigrants.

Why yes I did, but since this site is more PGH-oriented than SSP, I wanted the opinions of the yinzers. All I cna say is good luck to yinz ;) .

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urbanophile    0

Pittsburgh does attract a fiar share of educated immigrants due to it being an educational and high tech center. What it doesn't attract much of are working class immigrants. That, I believe, is due to the working class roots of Pittsburgh. Basically, there are more than enough working class people in Pittsburgh to perform the number of jobs. With much more open job markets in NYC, Chicago, and other major cities, immigrants don't feel the need to venture to Pittsburgh.

As for Philadelphia, I think the immigration level has changed dramatically over the past 5 years or so. For a while, Philadelphia was passed up by many immigrants since it wasn't a major port of entry the way NYC, LA, and even Atlanta (with its mega-airport) were. All that has changed as NYC has gotten very expensive and many of the immigrants in NYC have been priced out and have been moving steadily to Philadelphia. I think Philly will do fine. Also, while Atlanta continues to attract immigrants at a faster rate, Philadelphia has pretty well established Ethiopian, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indian, Mexican, Albanian, etc. areas. Atlanta has some but I don't think they run as far into the spectrum as Philadelphia does.

As for Cleveland, I think Cleveland is only marginally ahead of Pittsburgh in the immigrant game. The "Chinatown" in Cleveland is pretty pathetic. Its basically a collection of a few Chinese stores spread out throughout a warehouse area. At that rate, Pittsburgh could might as well call its Strip District "Chinatown" except for the fact that there are places serving all other kinds of ethnicities there as well.

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Cleveland has 2 hispanic radio stations and another I found on the dial but did not recognize the language. i believe it was easern european. Yes we have a great number of well educated immigrants here. Do they stay? The yinzer mentality is NOT one of openness and acception unfortunatey.

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TheGerbil    0

I think we just aren't on people's radar as a place to go when they come to the US. They just don't think of it.

Our colleges and growing tech economy bring people in, but not on a big enough scale. I don't think the problem is how welcoming the city is (I think it's as welcoming as any city would be that was getting an equivalent number of immigrants). I think it's that people don't move to the US and say "I'm going to settle in Pittsburgh."

The steel industry collapse may be another factor. So many jobs were lost that people were leaving, so there wasn't much chance of immigrants coming in. We are still feeling ripple effects from that, and perhaps we still have the image of being a depressed area, so immigrants think there won't be work here for them.

I think it's starting to change though. I am reading a lot lately about hispanic immigrants, and efforts by those who are here to encourage others to come. We are begining to develop a hispanic neighborhood (in Beechview I think it was?). The city's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is doing a lot too.

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Immigrants go where they feel welcome, and more importantly where entry level jobs are. They go to cities where the economy is expanding rapidly and creating these entry level jobs. That's why they are in cities in California, Florida and Texas. They are also in cities like Denver, Atlanta, and New York. The tourist industry entry level jobs in Florida use to be staffed with teenagers and younger retirees. Now a lot of the employees seem to be first generation immigrants. In most cities and states I mentioned as being a draw for immigrnats there isn't just a radio station or two in spanish, there's a full range of other language media. In Orlando there are over a dozen spanish radio stations, a couple spanish tv stations, a few newspapers, as well as intermitant Creol and Indian tv shows. There's a Little Siagon section of town that includes several blocks, and several other smaller asian enclaves around town. Miami is another level entirely. The Miami Dade County school system has students with over 100 different native languages. If you want to experience the new melting pot visit South Florida.

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TheGerbil    0

All very true, Facilities_man, but I think the welcoming atmosphere (china town type areas, foreign language radio stations, etc) is a thing that result from immigration. Having those things will certainly make a place seem more welcoming, but I think it is immigrants who create those things.

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mjcatl2    6

The yinzer mentality is NOT one of openness and acception unfortunatey.

Oh there is the same amount of accepting here. It's just that there hasn't been the constant job activity to draw immigrants here is high levels, which creates a cycle. The % growth is high, but the overall numbers are very low, considering the metro's size.

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All very true, Facilities_man, but I think the welcoming atmosphere (china town type areas, foreign language radio stations, etc) is a thing that result from immigration. Having those things will certainly make a place seem more welcoming, but I think it is immigrants who create those things.

It's a critical mass thing. Just like PGH's medical community. It draws more people to the medical field because it's big, has an established network and a good reputation. The same goes for immigrants moving to the country. They move to cities where immigrant enclaves already exist or they have a family connection, etc...

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wanderer34    0

Pittsburgh already has a small Chinatown on the southeast corner of downtown by the PNC FirstSide complex.

The Chinatown you're referring to is dead and isolated. The only thing that's owned by the Chinese is the Chinatown Inn, a restaurant. I'm thinking the new Chinatown nearby the Strip District is where I'd want to invest my time and money if I were to go and see the Asian community grow.

To urbanophile: It's fine that Phila finally woke up an figured out that by developing the city meant to rely mainly on immigration, and not just on college students, artists, and yuppies, but also the middle class, but I also see this as a too little, too late dilemms because Phila had every chance to get on the immigration surge that was happening from the 1840's to the 1920's, in addition to expanding the mass transit system in Phila, but my belief is that the political, business, and financial leaders of Phila were either too lazy to realize that by trying to compete with NYC and Boston was more than just a competition, but the only way to survive, but never even tried and Philly had it worse when it's massive manufacturing left town, and while NYC and Boston continued to find new ways to reinvent itself and replenish it's populations in the 80's and 90's, Phila continued to just sit there like the red-headed stepchild of the NE (which it isn't, BTW).

Honestly, Atlanta doesn't look like the "melting pot" that NYC, Miami, Boston, or Chicago claim to be or even what Phila is supposed to be. It's got the biggest airport in the world, but it's more of a "black mecca" than a melting pot, and even though you have Mexicans, Chinese, Indians, and Koreans coming to ATL, it's not in the same league as Miami, NYC, Chicago, or even Phila wen it comes to diversity. I'm not giving ATL a low blow, but that's the reality. And the real growth around ATL is around it's suburbs, not within it's city limits.

ANyways, my opinion is that PA should be getting working-class immigrants not only to Phila and Pittsburgh, but to it's smaller cities, as well.

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noobie    0

Can a city really "create" a new Chinatown, little Italy, little India, etc.

They sorta create themselves where those ethnic groups predominately live - don't they?

Do/can cities layout an area and restrict it only to Chinese orientated shops n'at?

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There is a huge hispanic population in NE Pennsylvania. Easton, Allentown and Bethlehem are becoming largely hispanic. Not so much due to immigration. they were born here and are leaving NYC

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mercurypa    0

I don't think cities can create artificial neighborhoods due to discrimination laws. I think that would be very un-new urbanist. Neighborhoods usually create themseveles organically.

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PghUSA    0

Great link Mj! And your right Noob, these things tend to be much better when they grow organically.

Few people realize though that Pittsburgh has a growing hispanic neighborhood in Brookline (I believe that was the place), also one of the largest Hindu Temples in the nation:

http://www.svtemple.org/temple/index.shtml

When the Soviet premier visited Pittsburgh a generation ago he was shocked at how he could travel half way around the world yet see a valley full of onion domes.

I would love to see Pittsburgh become more diverse, but I would loathe us adopting the crises of some of the sunbelt cities. Immigration is what makes this country great--when we had a growing population internally and when it was legal, the problems are the exception to the rule but it is in such mass that problems are becoming commonplace. I have gotten off the immigration bandwagon till DC comes up with a smart solution to our current crisis.

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