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Pittsburgh ranks #1 in most improved NE city.

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Local improvements:

Pittsburgh Business Times 2/14/2005

Ms. Montiel's group found some good news for economic planners in Pittsburgh, though. Of major cities the Rockefeller group has studied since 1970, Pittsburgh ranked 10th nationally in the "most improved" category. Pittsburgh was the only city in the Northeast to break the top 10, Ms. Montiel said.

"Pittsburgh realized years ago that there needed to be change," Mr. Bryant said. "What you're seeing as a result of that, you're seeing us as a community enjoying the fruits of that labor."

But alas another reason to consolidate and EXPAND the city proper:

Having static boundaries was a common factor among many cities with high economic stress, Ms. Montiel said.

"Cities that were able to expand to include more tax base were better," Ms. Montiel said. She said cities with low numbers of innercity residents were also high on the hardship list. "The cities that had a higher percentage living in the central city did better," she said.

Mr. Bryant agreed that Pittsburgh has landlocked boundaries, but he said his organization has its own list of problems it feels Pittsburgh needs to address to attract businesses.

Also Metro Pittsburgh has again shown to the nation to have great enclaves of luxury:

Bright spots:

Although a dozen local towns made the top quarter of stressed cities in the small town category, a couple stood out because their standard of living is so high.

Not far from Downtown, there are a couple of local communities that the study indicated have such high living standards they outpaced pricey addresses such as Palos Verdes and Piedmont, Calif.

The borough of Franklin Park, in the North Hills, placed 14th out of 3,550 cities rated in having the least amount of economic stress. Upper St. Clair, to the south and west, placed 25th overall in that category. To the east, Murrysville did quite well, coming in at 90th.


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