Doyle summarized Pittsburgh’s appeal, talking first about its affordability.
He described how he and his wife were able to buy a house in Lawrenceville within months of arriving in Pittsburgh—something they couldn’t imagine having been able to do in Boston for years.
“It seemed hungry for young people to move here, hungry for change to come, open to listening to young, creative types.
You could easily get involved in big projects and feel that you're making a big difference.” He still loves Denver, he admits.
They understand and appreciate that influx because they’ve worked hard over the last decade as planners and advocates to enhance the city's appeal—its green spaces, its walkability and bikeability.
“There’s a lot of great place-making going on here. They say, ‘Wait a second, this isn’t just a former steel town; this is a beautiful, green city that I can live in without a car, and it has a lot of great amenities, and I want to be a part of it.’” Andrews says it’s barely exaggerating when she notes, “Every friend who visits us here wants to start looking at houses.”I ask them to look beyond the city’s beauty and affordability and comment on social mobility.
The answer comes immediately: “It’s much easier to connect with people here than it is in other cities. It’s easier than in other places to meet people who are interested in similar things, to get patched into networks that help you achieve your goals.”“And people have so much pride in Pittsburgh—and care so much about the city —that if you’re working on a project that helps the city get better in some way, people want to help you, people from all different sectors,” Andrews said.
“I’ve hardly ever tried to reach someone—even top people in important positions–and not been able to do it, through one degree of separation.” Magazine.
Wendy Downs is the founder of Moop, a handmade bag company that I profiled here recently.Some of them fit the definition of a "Millennial," and some are a little older.In either case, it’s worth adding their voices on this topic to show what that enchanted combination of affordability and mobility looks like in real life, not just as a line in a dry statistical table.They decided to return to Pittsburgh, where Jeremy had grown up. "—with the intention 0f renovating it themselves, top to bottom."You can still do that in Pittsburgh—buy something really inexpensive, and if you're willing to put the sweat-equity into it, you end up with a really great house for still not a lot of money." That same principle of affordability applied to their studio space; so important to these two artists/makers.