Thursday, November 1, 2007
Pittsburgh: America's Most Livable City (Not!)
"Almanac" Publisher Says Its Not Just The City
Pittsburgh: America’s Most Livable City.
Have you ever wondered how we ever got that designation? Even with all of our problems and idiosyncrasies, I do love this city. But I am a realist. We are bankrupt, we’re near or at the bottom of most every economic indicator one can think of, our bridges are failing, our water mains explode monthly, our fish have turned androgynous, and we have a mayor whose grand plan for economic revitalization centers around garbage pick-up for Wilkinsburg. So how in the world did we ever make it to the top, winning the coveted title of “Most Livable”?
Well, my curiosity got the better of me. I decided to contact David Savageau, author/publisher of Places Rated Almanac, whose tabulations placed Pittsburgh at the top of America’s most desirable places to live. Did David use stats and indicators JUST from the City of Pittsburgh, or did he include, as I suspected, the neighboring suburbs as well?
Turns out it’s even worse than that. Per Mr. Savageau’s reply:
Thanks for writing.
Pittsburgh is one of 370 officially-defined metro areas in the United States. When we use “Pittsburgh” in PLACES RATED ALMANAC, we’re talking about the metro area surrounded by 7 counties, containing 441 cities and towns in NW Pennsylvania, and named after the largest city in the area.
Places Rated Books LLC
So ….. What is the big deal here you might ask? What is my point?
My point is our esteemed government leaders should not be hiding behind the “Most Livable” banner. When we cry out about the miserable conditions which surround us and the miserable choices they have made, they continue to deflect responsibility and culpability by saying, “We can’t be doing so bad …. After all, we’ve been named Most Livable!” Additionally, many citizens continue to look to this ranking as vindication that our weaknesses must in fact be strengths, and "strenghts" are things we should not try to change.
Well, WE have NOT been named Most Livable. It is the REGION which has been named Most Livable. The REGION filled with evil Republicans and suburbanites. The REGION Mr. Ravenstahl wants no part of except to usurp its title.