Located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers, Pittsburgh is known as both "the Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses, and as the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges. The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclines, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders.
Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in manufacturing of aluminum, glass, shipbuilding, petroleum, foods, sports, transportation, computing, autos, and electronics. For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment; it had the most U.S. stockholders per capita. America's 1980s deindustrialization laid off area blue-collar workers and thousands of downtown white-collar workers when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters moved out. This heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, parks, research centers, libraries, a diverse cultural district and the most bars per capita in the U.S.
Today, Google, Apple, Bosch, Facebook, Uber, Nokia, Autodesk, and IBM are among 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls. The area has served as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, robotics, energy research and the nuclear navy. The area is home to 68 colleges and universities, including research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The nation's fifth-largest bank, eight Fortune 500 companies, and six of the top 300 U.S. law firms make their global headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, while RAND, BNY Mellon, Nova, FedEx, Bayer and NIOSH have regional bases that helped Pittsburgh become the sixth-best area for U.S. job growth.
In 2015, Pittsburgh was listed among the "eleven most livable cities in the world"; The Economist's Global Liveability Ranking placed Pittsburgh as the first- or second-most livable city in the United States in 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014. The region is a hub for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, sustainable energy, and energy extraction.
Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. The original pronunciation would have been PITS-brə or PITS-bə-rə, matching similarly named places in Great Britain such as Edinburgh in Scotland and Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Pittsburgh was incorporated as a township in 1771 and as a borough on April 22, 1794, with the following Act: "Be it enacted by the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania...by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be...erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever."
The current pronunciation, which is extremely unusual in English speaking countries, is almost certainly a result of a printing error in some copies of the City Charter of March 18, 1816 (though not on the original document). The error was repeated commonly enough throughout the rest of the 19th century that the original pronunciation was lost and in 1890 the "h" was removed in order to make it easier to spell. After a public campaign the original spelling was officially restored by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1911.
The area of the Ohio headwaters was long inhabited by the Shawnee and several other settled groups of Native Americans. The first known European to enter the region was the French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle from Quebec during his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River. European pioneers, primarily Dutch, followed in the early 18th century. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a 1717 manuscript, and later that year European fur traders established area posts and settlements.
In 1749, French soldiers from Quebec launched an expedition to the forks to unite Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers. During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George before a larger French force drove them off. The French built Fort Duquesne based on LaSalle's 1669 claims. The French and Indian War, the North American front of the Seven Years' War, began with the future Pittsburgh as its center. British General Edward Braddock was dispatched with Major George Washington as his aide to take Fort Duquesne. The British and colonial force were defeated at Braddock's Field. General John Forbes finally took the forks in 1758. Forbes began construction on Fort Pitt, named after William Pitt the Elder while the settlement was named "Pittsborough".
During Pontiac's Rebellion, native tribes conducted a siege of Fort Pitt for two months until Colonel Henry Bouquet relieved it after the Battle of Bushy Run. Fort Pitt is notable as the site of an early use of smallpox for biological warfare. Lord Jeffrey Amherst ordered blankets contaminated from smallpox victims to be distributed in 1763 to the tribes surrounding the fort. The disease spread into other areas, infected other tribes, and killed hundreds of thousands.
During this period, the powerful nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, based in New York, had maintained control of much of the Ohio Valley as hunting grounds by right of conquest after defeating other tribes. By the terms of the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the Penns were allowed to purchase the modern region from the Iroquois. A 1769 survey referenced the future city as the "Manor of Pittsburgh". Both the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania claimed the region under their colonial charters until 1780, when they agreed under a federal initiative to extend the Mason–Dixon line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. On March 8, 1771 Bedford County, Pennsylvania was created to govern the frontier. On April 16, 1771, the city's first civilian local government was created as Pitt Township. William Teagarden was the first constable, and William Troop was the first clerk.
Following the American Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was boat building for settlers of the Ohio Country. In 1784, Thomas Viceroy completed a town plan which was approved by the Penn family attorney. Pittsburgh became a possession of Pennsylvania in 1785. The following year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787, the Pittsburgh Academy was chartered. Unrest during the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 resulted in federal troops being sent to the area. By 1797, glass manufacture began, while the population grew to around 1,400. Settlers came via routes over the Appalachian Mountains or through the Great Lakes. Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) at the source of the Ohio River became the main base for settlers moving into the Northwest Territory.
The War of 1812 cut off the supply of British goods, stimulating American industry. By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin, and glass. On March 18, 1816, the 46-year-old local government became a city. In the 1830s, many Welsh people from the Merthyr steelworks immigrated to the city following the aftermath of the Merthyr Rising. By the 1840s, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Great Fire of Pittsburgh destroyed over a thousand buildings in 1845. The city rebuilt with the aid of Irish immigrants and by 1857, Pittsburgh's 1,000 factories were consuming 22 million coal bushels yearly. Coal mining and iron manufacturing attracted waves of European immigrants to the area.
The American Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased iron and armament demand. Andrew Carnegie began steel production in 1875 at the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, Pennsylvania, which evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company. He adopted the Bessemer process to increase production.
In 1901, Carnegie merged several companies into U.S. Steel. By 1910, Pittsburgh was the nation's 8th-largest city, accounting for between a third and a half of national steel output. The city's population swelled to over a half million with European immigration via Ellis Island in New York harbor. By 1940, non-Hispanic whites were 90.6% of the city's population. Pittsburgh also became a main destination of the African-American Great Migration from the rural South during the first half of the 20th century. Limited initially by discrimination, some 95% percent of the men became unskilled steel workers. During World War II, demand increased and area mills operated 24 hours a day to produce 95 million tons of steel for the war effort. This resulted in the highest levels of air pollution in the city's almost century of industry. The city's reputation as the "arsenal of democracy" was being overshadowed by James Parton's 1868 observation of Pittsburgh being "hell with the lid off."
Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance," cleaning up the air and the rivers. The "Renaissance II" project followed in 1977, focused on cultural and neighborhood development. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1970s, but beginning in the early 1980s both the area's steel and electronics industries imploded during national industrial restructuring. There were massive layoffs from mill and plant closures.
In the later 20th century, the area shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare/medicine, finance, and high technology such as robotics. Although Pittsburgh successfully shifted its economy and remained viable, the city's population has never rebounded to its industrial-era highs. While 680,000 people lived in the city proper in 1950, a combination of suburbanization and economic turbulence resulted in a decrease in city population, even as the metropolitan area population increased again.
During the late 2000s recession, Pittsburgh was economically strong, adding jobs when most cities were losing them. It was one of the few cities in the United States to see housing property values rise. Between 2006 and 2011, the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area (MSA) experienced over 10% appreciation in housing prices—the highest appreciation of the largest 25 MSAs in the United States, as 22 of the top 25 MSAs saw a depreciation of housing values. Pittsburgh's story of economic regeneration was the inspiration of President Barack Obama to host the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit.
Pittsburgh has a total area of 58.3 square miles (151 km2), of which 55.6 square miles (144 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (or 4.75%) is water. The 80th meridian west passes directly through the city's downtown.
The city is on the Allegheny Plateau, within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau, The Downtown area (also known as the Golden Triangle) sits where the Allegheny River flowing from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River. The convergence is at Point State Park and is referred to as "the Point." The city extends east to include the Oakland and Shadyside sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions. The southern, western, and northern areas of the city are primarily residential.
Many Pittsburgh neighborhoods are steeply sloped with two-lane roads. More than a quarter of neighborhood names make reference to "hills," "heights," or similar features.
The steps of Pittsburgh comprise some 712 sets of outdoor public stairways with 44,645 treads and 24,090 vertical feet. They include hundreds of streets composed entirely of stairs, and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks. Many provide vistas of the Pittsburgh area while attracting hikers and fitness walkers.
Bike and walking trails have been built to border many of the city's rivers and hollows, but steep hills and variable weather can make biking a challenge. The Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath connect the city directly to downtown Washington, D.C. (some 335 miles (539 km) away) with a continuous bike/running trail.
The city consists of the Downtown area, called the Golden Triangle, and four main areas surrounding it. These surrounding areas are subdivided into distinct neighborhoods (in total, Pittsburgh contains 90 neighborhoods). Relative to downtown, these areas are known as the North Side, South Side/South Hills, East End, and West End.
Downtown Pittsburgh has 30 skyscrapers, nine of which top 500 feet (150 m). U.S. Steel Tower is the tallest at 841 ft (256 m). The Cultural District comprises a 14-block area of downtown along the Allegheny River. It is packed with theaters and arts venues, and has a growing residential segment. Most significantly, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is embarking on RiverParc, a four-block mixed-use "green" community, featuring 700 residential units and multiple towers between 20 and 30 stories. The Firstside portion of downtown borders the Monongahela River, the historic Mon Wharf and is home to the distinctive PPG Place Gothic-style glass skyscraper complex. New condo towers have been constructed and historic office towers are converted to residential use, increasing 24-hour residents. Downtown is served by the Port Authority's subway and multiple bridges leading north and south. It is also home to Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University which borders Uptown.
The North Side is home to various neighborhoods in transition. What is known today as Pittsburgh's North Side was once known as Allegheny City, and operated as a city independently of Pittsburgh. Allegheny City merged with Pittsburgh under great protest from its citizens. The North Side is primarily composed of residential neighborhoods and is noteworthy for well-constructed and architecturally interesting homes. Many buildings date from the 19th century and are constructed of brick or stone and adorned with decorative woodwork, ceramic tile, slate roofs and stained glass. The North Side is also home to many popular attractions such as Heinz Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Andy Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory installation art museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Randyland, Highmark SportsWorks, Penn Brewery, and Allegheny Observatory. The North Side is also home to Allegheny General Hospital, which is listed among the 1999 US News & World Report 2000 best hospitals nationwide.
The South Side was once the site of the Pennsylvania Railroad railyards and associated dense, inexpensive housing for mill and railroad workers. Since the late 20th century, the city undertook a Main Street program in cooperation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, encouraging design and landscape improvements on East Carson Street, and supporting new retail. The area has become a local Pittsburgher destination. The South Side is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city in which to own a home. The value of homes in the South Side has increased in value by about 10% annually for the past 10 years. East Carson Street has developed as one of the most vibrant areas of the city, packed with diverse shopping, ethnic eateries, vibrant nightlife, and live music venues.
In 1993 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchased the South Side Works steel mill property. It collaborated with the community and various developers to create a master plan for a mixed-use development, to include a riverfront park, office space, housing, health-care facilities, and indoor practice fields for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers. Construction began in 1998. The SouthSide Works has been open since 2005, featuring many stores, restaurants, offices, and the world headquarters for American Eagle Outfitters.
The East End is home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University, Chatham University, The Carnegie Institute's Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Center (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatory, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are large, wealthy neighborhoods with some apartments and condos. They enjoy pedestrian-oriented shopping/business districts. Oakland, heavily populated by undergraduate and graduate students, is home to most of the universities, Schenley Park and the Petersen Events Center. Bloomfield is Pittsburgh's Little Italy and is known for its Italian restaurants and grocers. Lawrenceville is a revitalizing rowhouse neighborhood popular with artists and designers; it is expected to benefit from the recent new construction of a new Children's Hospital. The Strip District to the west along the Allegheny River is an open-air marketplace by day and a clubbing destination by night.
The West End includes Mt. Washington, with its famous view of the Downtown skyline and numerous other residential neighborhoods such as Sheraden and Elliott.
Pittsburgh's patchwork of neighborhoods still retain an ethnic character reflecting the city's immigrant history. These include:German: Troy Hill, Mt. Washington, and East Allegheny (Deutschtown)
Italian: Brookline, Bloomfield (Pittsburgh's Little Italy), Morningside, Oakland
Polish and Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland, Slovenia, and the northern marginal regions of Italy, Croatia, as well as northeastern France Central European: South Side, Lawrenceville, and Polish Hill
Lithuanian: South Side, Uptown (Pittsburgh)
African American/Multiracial African American: Hill District, Homewood, Larimer, and Hazelwood
Jewish (Ashkenazi): Squirrel Hill
Several neighborhoods on the edges of the city are less urban, featuring tree-lined streets, yards and garages, with a more suburban character. Oakland, the South Side, the North Side, and the Golden Triangle are characterized by more density of housing, walking neighborhoods, and a more diverse, urban feel.
Pittsburgh falls within the borders of the Northeastern United States as defined by multiple US Government agencies, but the Pittsburgh Combined Statistical Area extends into both the Southern United States (West Virginia) and the Midwestern United States (Ohio), with the borders of the three regions meeting 30 miles (48 km) from the city. Pittsburgh is also in the Great Lakes Megalopolis, a collection of primarily Midwestern and nearby Canadian cities, reflecting Pittsburgh's socio-economic connections to Ohio and points west.
Pittsburgh falls within the borders of Appalachia as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, and has long been characterized as the "northern urban industrial anchor of Appalachia." In its post-industrial state, Pittsburgh has been characterized as the "Paris of Appalachia", recognizing the city's cultural, educational, healthcare, and technological resources, as well as its status as Appalachia's largest city.
Pittsburgh lies in the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfa). The city and river valleys lie in the USDA plant hardiness zone 6b while higher elevated areas lie in zone 6a. The area has four distinct seasons: winters are cold, cloudy, and moderately snowy, springs and falls generally mild with moderate levels of sunshine, and summers warm to hot and humid. As measured by percent possible sunshine, summer is by far the sunniest season.
The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh is July, with a 24-hour average of 72.6 °F (22.6 °C). Conditions are often humid, and combined with highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on an average 9.5 days a year, a considerable heat index arises. The coldest month is January, when the 24-hour average is 28.4 °F (−2.0 °C), and lows of 0 °F (−18 °C) or below can be expected on an average 2.6 nights per year. Officially, record temperatures range from −22 °F (−30 °C), on January 19, 1994 to 103 °F (39 °C), which occurred three times, most recently on July 16, 1988; the record cold daily maximum is −3 °F (−19 °C), which occurred three times, most recently the day of the all-time record low, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 82 °F (28 °C) on July 1, 1901. Due to elevation and location on the windward side of the Appalachian Mountains, 100 °F (38 °C)+ readings are very rare, and were last seen on July 15, 1995.
Average annual precipitation is 38.2 inches (970 mm) and total precipitation is greatest in May while least in October; annual precipitation has historically ranged from 22.65 in (575 mm) in 1930 to 57.41 in (1,458 mm) in 2004. On average, December and January have the greatest number of precipitation days. Snowfall averages 41.4 inches (105 cm) per season, but has historically ranged from 8.8 in (22 cm) in 1918–19 to 82.0 in (208 cm) in 1950–51. There is an average of 59 clear days and 103 partly cloudy days per year, while 203 days are cloudy. In terms of annual percent-average possible sunshine received, Pittsburgh (45%) is similar to Seattle (43%).
In a 2013 ranking of 277 metropolitan areas in the United States, the American Lung Association (ALA) ranked only six U.S. metro areas as having higher amounts of short-term particle pollution, and only seven U.S. metro areas having higher amounts of year-round particle pollution than Pittsburgh. For ozone (smog) pollution, Pittsburgh was ranked 24th among U.S. metro areas. The area has improved its air quality with every annual survey. The ALA's rankings have been disputed by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), since data from only the worst of the region's 20 air quality monitors is considered by the ALA, without any context or averaging. The lone monitor used is located immediately downwind and adjacent to U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, the nation's largest coke mill, and several municipalities outside the city's jurisdiction of pollution controls, leading to possible confusion that Pittsburgh itself is the source or center of the emissions cited in the survey. The region's readings also reflect pollution swept in from Ohio and West Virginia, though both are outside the jurisdictional powers of local leadership.
Although the county was still below the "pass" threshold, the report showed substantial improvement over previous decades on every air quality measure. Fewer than 15 high ozone days were reported between 2007 and 2009, and just 10 between 2008 and 2010, compared to more than 40 between 1997 and 1999. ACHD spokesman Guillermo Cole stated that "It's the best it's been in the lifetime for virtually every resident in this county...We've seen a steady decrease in pollution levels over the past decade and certainly over the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years, or more."
The local rivers continue to have pollution levels exceeding EPA limits; however, fish catches in the city in 2007 were found to be more than twice as free of pollutants than catches on the Canadian side of Lake Erie and six times as free of pollutants than Allegheny River catches of the New York border area. There are other concerns about local storm sewers and waste treatment plants frequently overflowing untreated sewage into local waterways, due to flood conditions and antiquated infrastructure.
The city contains 31,000 trees on 900 miles of streets, by the last count conducted in 2005. A 2011 analysis of Pittsburgh's total tree cover, which involved sampling more than 200 small plots throughout the city, showed a value of between $10 and $13 million in annual benefits based on the "urban forest" contributions to aesthetics, energy use and air quality. Energy savings from shade, impact on city air and water quality, and the boost in property values were taken into account in the analysis. The city spends $850,000 annually on street tree planting and maintenance.
At the 2010 Census, there were 305,704 people residing in Pittsburgh, a decrease of 8.6% since 2000. 66.0% of the population was White, 25.8% Black or African American, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.4% Asian, 0.3% Other, and 2.3% mixed. 2.3% of Pittsburgh's population was of Hispanic or Latino origin of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 64.8% of the population in 2010, compared to 78.7% in 1970.
The five largest European ethnic groups in the city are German (19.7%), Irish (15.8%), Italian (11.8%), Polish (8.4%), and English (4.6%), while the metropolitan area is approximately 22% German-American, 15.4% Italian American and 11.6% Irish American. Pittsburgh has one of the largest Italian-American communities in the nation, the fifth-largest Ukrainian community. Pittsburgh has over 200,000 Croatian people making it the city with the most extensive Croatian community in the United States.
According to a 2010 ARDA study, residents include 773,341 "Catholics"; 326,125 "Mainline Protestants"; 174,119 "Evangelical Protestants;" 20,976 "Black Protestants;" and 16,405 "Orthodox Christians," with 996,826 listed as "unclaimed" and 16,405 as "other" in the metro area.
There were 143,739 households, out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 19.9% under the age of 18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,588, and the median income for a family was $38,795. Males had a median income of $32,128 versus $25,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,816. About 15.0% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% ages 65 or older.
In a 2002 study, Pittsburgh ranked 22nd of 69 urban places in the U.S. in the number of residents 25 years or older who had completed a bachelor's degree, at 31%. Pittsburgh ranked 15th of the 69 places in the number of residents 25 years or older who completed a high school degree, at 84.7%.
The metro area has shown greater residential racial integration during the last 30 years. The 2010 census ranked 18 other U.S. metros as having greater black-white segregation, while 32 other U.S. metros rank higher for black-white isolation. Within city limits both Carlow University and Chatham University have residential gender segregation above 90%, as Duquesne University and Point Park University both have female populations at 60% or greater. Carnegie Mellon University has a 60% male population.
Pittsburgh has adapted since the collapse of its century-long steel and electronics industries. The region has shifted to high technology, robotics, health care, nuclear engineering, tourism, biomedical technology, finance, education, and services. Total annual payroll of the region's technology industries, when taken in aggregate, exceeded $10.8 billion in 2007, and in 2010 there were 1,600 technology companies. A National Bureau of Economic Research 2014 report named Pittsburgh the second-best U.S. city for intergenerational economic mobility or the American Dream. Reflecting the citywide shift from industry to technology, former factories have been renovated as modern office space. Google has research and technology offices in a refurbished 1918–1998 Nabisco factory, a complex known as Bakery Square. Some of the factory's original equipment, such as a large dough mixer, were left standing in homage to the site's industrial roots. Pittsburgh's transition from its industrial heritage has earned it praise as "the poster child for managing industrial transition". Other major cities in the northeast and mid-west have increasingly borrowed from Pittsburgh's model in order to renew their industries and economic base.
The largest employer in the city is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, with 48,000 employees. All hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctor's office positions combine for 116,000 jobs, approximately 10% of the jobs in the region. An analyst recently observed of the city's medical sector: "That's both more jobs and a higher share of the region's total employment than the steel industry represented in the 1970s."
Area retail is anchored by over 35 shopping malls and a healthy downtown retail sector, as well as boutique shops along Walnut Street, in Squirrel Hill and Station Square.
Education is another major industry in the region. The largest single employer in that industry is the University of Pittsburgh, with 10,700 employees.
Six Fortune 500 companies call the Pittsburgh area home. These include downtown's PNC Financial Services, PPG Industries, U.S. Steel, The Kraft Heinz Company, WESCO International, and the Findlay Township, Pennsylvania based Dick's Sporting Goods. In 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.
The region is home to Allegheny Technologies, American Eagle Outfitters, CONSOL Energy, Kennametal, Mylan Bayer USA, and Alcoa operation headquarters. Other major employers include BNY Mellon, GlaxoSmithKline, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Lanxess. The Northeast U.S. regional headquarters for Chevron Corporation, Nova Chemicals, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, FedEx Ground, Ariba, and the RAND Corporation call the area home. 84 Lumber, Giant Eagle, Highmark, Rue 21, General Nutrition Center (GNC), CNX Gas (CXG), and Genco Supply Chain Solutions are major non-public companies headquartered in the region. The global impact of Pittsburgh technology and business was recently demonstrated in several key components of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner being manufactured and supplied by area companies.
The nonprofit arts and cultural industry in Allegheny County generates $341 million in economic activity that supports over 10,000 full-time equivalent jobs with nearly $34 million in local and state taxes raised.
A leader in environmental design, the city is home to 60 total and 10 of the world's first green buildings while billions have been invested in the area's Marcellus natural gas fields. A renaissance of Pittsburgh's 116-year-old film industry—that boasts the world's first movie theater—has grown from the long-running Three Rivers Film Festival to an influx of major productions including Disney and Paramount offices with the largest sound stage outside Los Angeles and New York City.
Pittsburgh has hosted INPEX, the world's largest invention trade show annually since 1984, Tekko since 2003, Anthrocon since 2006, and DUG East energy trade show since 2009.
Pittsburgh has a rich history in arts and culture dating from 19th century industrialists commissioning and donating public works, such as Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts and the Benedum Center, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Opera, respectively as well as such groups as the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues, and bluegrass music. The National Negro Opera Company was founded in the city as the first all African-American opera company in the United States. This led to the prominence of African-American singers like Leontyne Price in the world of opera. Pittsburgh has a number of small and mid-size arts organizations including the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Quantum Theatre, the Renaissance and Baroque Society of Pittsburgh, and the early music ensemble Chatham Baroque. Several choirs and singing groups are also present at the cities' universities; some of the most notable include the Pitt Men's Glee Club and the Heinz Chapel Choir.
Pittsburgh Dance Council and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater host a variety of dance events. Polka, folk, square, and round dancing have a long history in the city and are celebrated by the world-famous Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance.
Hundreds of major films have been shot partially or wholly in Pittsburgh. The Dark Knight Rises was largely filmed in Downtown, Oakland, and the North Shore. Pittsburgh has also teamed up with a Los Angeles-based production company, and has built the largest and most advanced movie studio in the eastern United States.
Pittsburgh's major art museums include the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Mattress Factory. The ToonSeum, one of three museums in the US dedicated to cartoon art, is located downtown. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is the fourth ranked natural history museum in the US and has extensive dinosaur, mineral, animal, and Egyptian collections. The Carnegie Science Center and associated SportsWorks has interactive technology and science exhibits. The Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a Smithsonian affiliated regional history museum located in the Strip District and its associated Fort Pitt Museum is located in Point State Park. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland houses Western Pennsylvania military exhibits from the Civil War to present. The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on the North Side features interactive exhibits for children. The eclectic Bayernhof Music Museum is six miles (9 km) from downtown while The Clemente Museum is located in the city's Lawrenceville section. The Cathedral of Learning's Nationality Rooms showcase pre-19th century learning environments from around the world. There are regular guided and self-guided architectural tours in numerous neighborhoods. Downtown's cultural district hosts quarterly Gallery Crawls and the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival. Pittsburgh is home to a number of art galleries and centers including the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, University Art Gallery of the University of Pittsburgh, the American Jewish Museum, and the Wood Street Galleries.
Pittsburgh is home to the popular amusement park Kennywood.
The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the National Aviary have served the city for over a century.
Pittsburgh is home to one of the several state licensed casinos. The Rivers Casino is located on the North Shore along the Ohio River, just west of Carnegie Science Center and Heinz Field.
Pittsburgh's Wiz Khalifa is a recent artist to have a number one record. His anthem "Black and Yellow" (a tribute to Pittsburgh's official colors) reached number one on Billboard's "Hot 100" for the Week of February 19, 2011 Not since Grammy-winning blues guitarist George Benson has a Pittsburgh artist received such national acclaim. Perry Como and Christina Aguilera are from Pittsburgh suburbs. Hip hop artist Mac Miller's album Blue Slide Park debuted at the top of Billboard's album chart; its first #1 independent release since Dogg Food in 1995.
Many punk rock and Hardcore punk acts, such as Aus Rotten and Anti-Flag, originated in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is home to the world's largest furry convention known as Anthrocon, which has been held annually at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center since 2006. In 2013 Anthrocon drew over 5,000 visitors and had an economic impact of $6.2 million.
The city's first play was produced at the old courthouse in 1803 and the first theater built in 1812. Collegiate companies include the University of Pittsburgh's Repertory Theatre and Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Point Park University's resident companies at its Pittsburgh Playhouse, and Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama productions and Scotch'n'Soda organization. The Duquesne University Red Masquers, founded in 1912, are the oldest, continuously producing theater company in Pennsylvania. The city's longest-running theater show, Friday Nite Improvs, is an improv jam that has been performed in the Cathedral of Learning and other locations for 20 years. The Pittsburgh New Works Festival utilizes local theatre companies to stage productions of original one-act plays by playwrights from all parts of the country. Similarly, Future Ten showcases new ten-minute plays. Saint Vincent Summer Theatre, Off the Wall Productions, Mountain Playhouse, The Theatre Factory, and Stage Right! in nearby Latrobe, Carnegie, Jennerstown, Trafford, and Greensburg, respectively, employ Pittsburgh actors and contribute to the culture of the region.
Pittsburgh is the birthplace of Gertrude Stein and Rachel Carson, a Chatham University graduate from the suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvania. Modern writers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson and Michael Chabon with his Pittsburgh-focused commentary on student and college life. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, David McCullough was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Annie Dillard, a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Much of her memoir An American Childhood takes place in post-World War II Pittsburgh. John Edgar Wideman grew up in Pittsburgh and based "Brothers and Keepers," a National Book Critics awarded novel in his hometown. Poet Terrance Hayes, winner of the 2010 National Book Award and a 2014 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, received his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, where he is currently a faculty member. Poet Michael Simms, founder of Autumn House Press, currently resides in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Poet Samuel John Hazo, the first poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, also resides in the city. New writers include Chris Kuzneski who attended the University of Pittsburgh and mentions Pittsburgh in his works and Pittsburgher Brian Celio, author of Catapult Soul who captured the Pittsburgh 'Yinzer' dialect in his writing. Pittsburgh's unique literary style extends to playwrights, as well as local graffiti and hip hop artists.
There are also specific Pittsburgh genres that have been adopted in globally, from children's television to sci-fi/fantasy to Yinzer Pittsburghese.
Pittsburgh's position as the birthplace for community owned television and networked commercial television helped spawn the modern children's show genres exemplified by Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Happy's Party, Cappelli & Company, and The Children's Corner, all nationally broadcast.
The Pittsburgh Dad series has showcased the Pittsburghese genre to a global YouTube audience since 2011.
The modern fantasy, macabre and science fiction genre was popularized by director George A. Romero, television's Bill Cardille and his Chiller Theatre, director and writer Rusty Cundieff and makeup effects guru Tom Savini. The genre continues today with the PARSEC writers organization, The It's Alive Show, the annual "Zombie Fest", and several writer's workshops including Write or Die, Pittsburgh SouthWrites, and Pittsburgh Worldwrights with Barton Paul Levenson, Kenneth Chiacchia and Elizabeth Humphreys Penrose.
The Pittsburgh English dialect, commonly called Pittsburghese, was influenced by Scots-Irish, Welsh, German, Central European, and Eastern European immigrants. Locals who speak the dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word "yinz" [var. yunz], a blended form of "you ones," similar to "y'all" and "you all" in the South). Common Pittsburghese terms are: slippy (slippery), redd up (clean up), jagger bush (thorn bush), and gum bands (rubber bands). The dialect is also notable for dropping the verb "to be." In Pittsburghese one would say "the car needs washed" instead of "needs to be washed," "needs washing," or "needs a wash." The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects of Erie and Baltimore, but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms. The staccato qualities of the dialect are thought to originate either from Welsh or other European languages. The many local peculiarities have prompted The New York Times to describe Pittsburgh as, "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect." The lexicon itself contains notable loans from Polish and other European languages; examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.
Pittsburgh often places high in lists of the nation's most livable cities. After placing fourth and first in the first two editions of Places Rated Almanac, Pittsburgh finished third in 1989, fifth in 1993, 14th in 1997, and 12th in 2000, before reclaiming the number one spot in 2007. The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition.
In 2005, 2009, and 2011, Pittsburgh was named the most livable city in the United States and in those years, between the 26th- and 29th-most livable cities worldwide by The Economist. Pittsburgh ranked No. 28 in the book Cities Ranked and Rated (2004) by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander.
In 2010, Forbes and Yahoo! listed Pittsburgh as the most livable city in the United States. A month later, Forbes named Pittsburgh the 7th best place to raise a family. Pittsburgh was ranked the 4th best city for working mothers by Forbes in 2010 and the city was ranked as one of the best for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur. Forbes named Pittsburgh, in an 8-way tie, the world's 10th cleanest city for 2007.
The Economist Intelligence Unit named Pittsburgh the top place to live in the United States in 2011, and behind only Honolulu for 2012 and 2014.
The city was listed among the 10 best U.S. places to retire in 2012 by CBS Money Watch and U.S. News. In February 2013 Forbes again placed Pittsburgh among its 10 most unexpectedly romantic world locations. In April 2014, Niche rated Pittsburgh the 15th best city for millennials.
Livability rankings typically consider factors such as cost of living, crime, and cultural opportunities. Pittsburgh has a low cost of living compared to other northeastern U.S. cities. According to the Federal Housing Board the average price for a 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bath family home in Pittsburgh for 2004 is $162,000, well below the national average of $264,540. Average 2010 rent for all bedrooms in Pittsburgh was $789. This compares to the nationwide average of $1,087. Pittsburgh also has five city parks and several parks managed by the Nature Conservancy, the largest of which, Frick Park, provides a 664 acres (269 ha) of woodland park with extensive hiking and biking trails throughout steep valleys and wooded slopes. Birding enthusiasts love to visit Clayton Hill area of Frick Park, where well over 100 species of birds have been recorded.
Enhancing Pittsburgh's livability is that the area faces little natural disaster risk such as an earthquake, hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as having the 2nd lowest natural disaster risk in the nation for 2009. Greater Pittsburgh is not entirely free of natural disasters, however. Residents living in extremely low-lying areas near the rivers or one of the 1,400 creeks and streams experience occasional floods, such as those caused when the remnants of Hurricane Ivan hit rainfall records in 2004. River flooding is relatively rare due to federal flood control efforts extensively managing locks, dams, and reservoirs. Residents living near smaller tributary streams are less protected from occasional flooding, and the cost of a comprehensive flood control program for the region has been estimated at a prohibitive $50 billion.
Pittsburgh has the most bars per capita in the nation.
Pittsburgh hosted the first professional football game and the first World Series. The city boasts several professional teams and in 2009 the city has won the Sporting News title of "Best Sports City" in the United States. and Sperling's Best Places "top 15 cities for baseball" in 2013. College sports also have large followings with the University of Pittsburgh in football and sharing Division I basketball fans with Robert Morris and Duquesne.
Pittsburgh's dedication to sports has a long history with its major professional sports teams—the Steelers of the National Football League, the Penguins of the National Hockey League, and the Pirates of Major League Baseball—share the same team colors, the official city colors of black and gold. This tradition of solidarity is unique to Pittsburgh. The black-and-gold color scheme has since become widely associated with the city and personified in its famous Terrible Towel.
"Rails to Trails", has converted miles of former rail tracks to recreational trails, including a Pittsburgh-Washington D.C. bike/walking trail. Several mountain biking trails are located within the city and suburbs, Frick Park has biking trails and Hartwood Acres Park has many miles of single track trails.
**Pittsburgh's ABA franchise won the 1968 title, however the current franchise are heirs to it only in location.
The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, often referred to as the Bucs or the Buccos (derived from buccaneer), is the city's oldest professional sports franchise having been founded in 1881, and plays in the Central Division of the National League. The Pirates are nine-time Pennant winners and five-time World Series Champions, were in the first World Series (1903) and claim two pre-World Series titles in 1901 and 1902. The Pirates play in PNC Park, annually ranked as one of the sports best venues; ESPN.com stated: "[t]his is the perfect blend of location, history, design, comfort and baseball…The best stadium in baseball is in Pittsburgh." PNC Park hosted the team's MLB record-tying fifth All-Star game in 2006.
Pittsburgh also has a rich Negro League history, with the former Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays credited with as many as 14 league titles and 11 Hall of Famers between them in the 1930s and 1940s, while the Keystones fielded teams in the 1920s. In addition, in 1971 the Pirates were the first Major League team to field an all-minority lineup. One sportswriter claimed, "No city is more synonymous with black baseball than Pittsburgh."
Since the late 20th century, the Pirates had three consecutive National League Championship Series appearances (1990–92) (going 6, 7 and 7 games each), followed by setting the MLB record for most consecutive losing seasons, with 20 from 1993 until 2012. This era was followed by three consecutive postseason appearances: the 2013 National League Division Series and the 2014-2015 Wild Card games. Their September pennant race in 1997 featured the franchises' last no-hitter and last award for Sporting News' Executive of the Year.
Football is the most popular and tradition laden sport in the region. The nation's first professional game was played in the city on November 12, 1892, between the Allegheny Athletic Association and the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, the first pro-team in nearby Latrobe and first organized league, the NFL and their inaugural champions: the Pittsburgh Stars.
The city's most popular team is the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, named after the distribution company the Pittsburgh Steeling company established in 1927. News of the team has preempted news of elections and other events, and are important to the region and its diaspora. The Steelers have been owned by the Rooney family since the team's founding in 1933, show consistency in coaching (only three coaches since the 1960s all with the same basic philosophy) and are noted as one of sports' most respectable franchises. The Steelers have a long waiting list for season tickets, and have sold out every home game since 1972. The team won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s, a fifth Super Bowl in 2006, and a league record sixth Super Bowl in 2009. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 they have qualified for the most NFL playoff berths (28) and have played in (15) and hosted (11) the most NFL conference championship games.
High school football routinely attract 10,000 fans per game and extensive press coverage. The Tom Cruise film All the Right Moves and ESPN's Bound for Glory with Dick Butkus both filmed in the area to capture the tradition and passion of local high school football.
College football in the city dates to 1889 with the Division I (FBS) Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh posting nine national championships and recently qualifying for seven straight bowl games for 31 total. Local universities Duquesne and Robert Morris have loyal fan bases that follow their lower (FCS) teams. Duquesne, Carnegie Mellon University, and Washington & Jefferson College all posted major bowl games and AP Poll rankings from the 1920s to the 1940s as that era's equivalent of Top 25 FBS programs.
Heinz Field serves as home for the Steelers, Panthers, and both the suburban and city high school championships. Playoff franchises Pittsburgh Power and Pittsburgh Gladiators competed in the Arena Football League in the 1980s and 2010s respectively. The Gladiators hosted ArenaBowl I in the city, competing in two total, but losing both before moving to Tampa, Florida and becoming the Storm. The Pittsburgh Passion has been the city's professional women's football team since 2002 and plays its home games at Highmark Stadium. The Ed Debartolo owned Pittsburgh Maulers featured a Heisman Trophy winner in the mid-1980s, former superstar University of Nebraska running back Mike Rozier.
The NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins have played in Pittsburgh since the team's founding in 1967. The team has won 6 Eastern Conference titles (1991, 1992, 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017) and 5 Stanley Cup championships (1991, 1992, 2009, 2016 and 2017). Since 1999, Hall of Famer and back-to-back playoff MVP Mario Lemieux has served as Penguins owner. Until moving into the PPG Paints Arena in 2010 (when it known as Consol Energy Center), the team played their home games at the world's first retractable domed stadium, the Civic Arena, or in local parlance "The Igloo".
Ice hockey has had a regional fan base since the 1890s semi-pro Keystones. The city's first ice rink dates back to 1889, when there was an ice rink at the Casino in Schenley Park. From 1896 to 1956, the Exposition Building on the Allegheny River near The Point and Duquesne Gardens in Oakland offered indoor skating.
The NHL awarded one of its first franchises to the city in 1924 on the strength of the back-to-back USAHA championship winning Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets featuring future Hall of Famers and a Stanley Cup winning coach. The NHL's Pittsburgh Pirates made several Stanley Cup playoff runs with a future Hall of Famer before folding from Great Depression financial pressures. Hockey survived with the Pittsburgh Hornets farm team (1936–1967) and their seven finals appearances and three championships in 18 playoff seasons.
Robert Morris University fields a Division I college hockey team at the Island Sports Center. Pittsburgh is a hotbed for semi-pro and amateur teams such as the top 50 ranked Junior Penguins, Predators and Viper Stars, with the Hornets a top 20 team for the last 7 years. Pro-grade ice rinks such as the Rostraver Ice Garden and Iceoplex at Southpointe have trained several native Pittsburgh players for NHL play. RMU hosted the city's first Frozen Four college championship in 2013 with the four PPG Paints Arena games televised by ESPN.
Professional basketball in Pittsburgh dates to the 1910s with teams "Monticello" and "Loendi" winning five national titles, the Pirates (1937–45 in the NBL), the Pittsburgh Ironmen (1947–48 NBA inaugural season), the Pittsburgh Rens (1961–63), the Pittsburgh Condors (first American Basketball Association championship in 1968 and playing until 1972), the Pittsburgh Piranhas (CBA Finals in 1995), the Pittsburgh Xplosion (2004–08) and Phantoms (2009–10) both of the ABA. The city has hosted dozens of pre-season and 15 regular season "neutral site" NBA games, including Wilt Chamberlain's record setting performance in both consecutive field goals and field goal percentage on February 24, 1967, NBA records that still stand.
The Duquesne University Dukes and the University of Pittsburgh Panthers have played college basketball in the city since 1914 and 1905 respectively. Pitt and Duquesne have played the annual City Game since 1932. Duquesne was the city's first team to appear in a Final Four (1940), obtain a number one AP Poll ranking (1954), and to win a post-season national title, the 1955 National Invitation Tournament on its second straight trip to the NIT title game. Duquesne is the only college program to produce back-to-back NBA #1 overall draft picks with 1955's Dick Ricketts and 1956's Sihugo Green. Duquesne's Chuck Cooper was the first African American drafted by an NBA team.
The Panthers won two pre-tournament era Helms Athletic Foundation National Championships in 1928 and 1930, competed in a "national title game" against LSU in 1935, and made a Final Four appearance in 1941. Pitt has won 13 conference titles, qualified for the NCAA tournament 25 times including a post season tournament every season since 1999–2000 and regularly sells out the Petersen Events Center. The program has produced 27 NBA draft picks and 15 All Americans while ranking #1 in the nation as recently as 2009.
The suburban Robert Morris University's Colonials have competed in NCAA Division I basketball since the 1970s, qualifying for the NCAA tournament in each of the last four decades (8 total). In the 2013 National Invitation Tournament the Colonials notched an upset win over the defending national champions Kentucky Wildcats.
Pittsburgh Panthers women's basketball has qualified for 14 post season tournaments (including 4 NCAA tournaments) and boasts of 5 All-Americans selected 6 times with 3 WNBA players. Pitt women began play in 1914 before being reintroduced in 1970. Both Duquesne and Robert Morris also have competitive Division I women's basketball programs.
Pittsburgh launched the nation's first high school all-star game in 1965. The Roundball Classic annually featured future NBA hall of famers at the Civic Arena with ESPN televising. The Civic Arena also hosted the Championship Tournament for the Eastern Eight Conference from 1978 until 1982.
Golf has deep roots in the area. The oldest U.S. course in continuous use, Foxburg Country Club dating from 1887 calls the region home. Suburban Oakmont Country Club holds the record for most times as host for the U.S. Open (8). U.S. Women's Open (2), PGA Championships (3), and U.S. Amateurs (8) have also called Oakmont home.
Golf legends Arnold Palmer, Jim Furyk, and Rocco Mediate learned the game and began their careers on Pittsburgh area courses. Suburban courses such as Laurel Valley Golf Club and the Fox Chapel Golf Club have hosted PGA Championships (1937, 1965), the Ryder Cup (1975), LPGA Championships (1957–58), Senior Players Championships (2012–14), and the Senior PGA Championship (2005).
Local courses have sponsored annual major tournaments for 40 years:
Pittsburgh hosts several annual major sporting events initiated in the late 20th century, including the:Three Rivers Regatta (since 1977)
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix (since 1983)
Dirty Dozen Cycle Race (since 1983)
Pittsburgh Marathon (since 1985)
Great Race 10K (since 1985)
Head of the Ohio Regatta (since 1987)
The city's vibrant rivers have attracted annual world-title fishing competitions of the Forrest Wood Cup in 2009 and the Bassmaster Classic in 2005.
Annual events continue during the winter months at area ski resorts such as Boyce Park, Seven Springs, Hidden Valley Resort, Laurel Mountain, and Wisp. Ice skating rinks are enjoyed at PPG Place and North Park.
Many Wrestlers and promoters in the WWE Started their Careers in Pittsburgh including Dominic DeNucci, Kurt Angle, Corey Graves, Bruno Sammartino, Elias Samson, and many more.
Pittsburgh was in the Limelight with the popular Studio Wrestling in the Fineview section of the city.
The Keystone State Wrestling Alliance (KSWA) is a professional wrestling promotion that was founded in Pittsburgh, in 2000. It is the only promotion based in Pittsburgh. It currently operates in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the city. The KSWA performs Monthly on Saturdays at its main venue on 51st Street.
The Government of Pittsburgh is composed of the Mayor of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh City Council, and various boards and commissions. The mayor and the nine-member council serve a four-year term. Since the 1950s the Mayor's Chief of Staff has assumed a large role in advising, long term planning, and as a "gatekeeper" to the mayor. City council members are chosen by plurality elections in each of nine districts. The government's official offices are located in the Pittsburgh City-County Building.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court holds sessions in Pittsburgh, as well as Harrisburg and Philadelphia. Pittsburgh is represented in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by three Senate Districts and nine House Districts. Federally, Pittsburgh is part of Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district.
In 2006, Council President Luke Ravenstahl was sworn in as mayor at age 26, becoming the youngest mayor in the history of any major American city. His successor, Bill Peduto, was sworn in January 6, 2014. Current Pittsburgh City Council members are: Darlene Harris, Theresa Kail-Smith, Natalia Rudiak, Cory O'Conner, R. Daniel Lavelle, Deborah Gross, Dan Gilman, and Rev. Ricky Burgess. They are elected from single-member districts. The president of city council is Bruce Kraus.
Prior to the American Civil War, Pittsburgh was strongly abolitionist. It is considered the birthplace of the national Republican Party, as the party held its first convention here in February 1856. From the Civil War to the 1930s, Pittsburgh was a Republican stronghold. The effects of the Great Depression, combined with entrenched local GOP scandals, resulted in a shift among voters to the Democratic Party. With the exceptions of the 1973 and 1977 elections (where lifelong Democrats ran off the party ticket), Democrats have been elected consecutively to the mayor's office since the 1933 election. The city's current ratio of party registration is 5 to 1 Democrat.
Pittsburgh is represented in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by three Senate Districts (Randy Vulakovich (R)-38, Wayne D. Fontana (D)-42, and Jay Costa (D)-43) and nine House Districts (Jake Wheatley-19, Adam Ravenstahl-20, Dom Costa-21, Dan Frankel-23, Ed Gainey-24, Dan Deasy-27, Paul Costa-34, and Harry Readshaw-36, Dan Miller-42).
Federally, Pittsburgh is part of Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district, represented by Democrat Michael F. Doyle since 1995.
The area's largest law enforcement agency is the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, with close to 1,000 sworn officers. The city also has separate housing and school police departments. Other agencies also provide police protection within the city because of overlapping jurisdictional boundaries. The Allegheny County Sheriff focuses on jail and courthouse security. The Allegheny County Police primarily patrols county-owned parks and airports, while providing detective/investigatory functions for smaller suburbs and the Port Authority police patrols rapid transit. Pennsylvania State Police Troop B provides patrols for the city and immediate suburbs.
The county's lead law enforcement officer is Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala while the Allegheny County Medical Examiner heads forensics. Crimes of a federal nature are covered by the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania.
Pittsburgh annually ranks as one of America's safest big cities, in 2013 being named the 3rd "most secure" big city by Farmers Insurance. Among crime rates of the 60 largest U.S. cities, 43 had more instances of property crime while 16 had less when compared to Pittsburgh. More instances of violent crime were reported in 21 of the largest cities while 37 had less. The FBI recommends against using data for ranking. Per 100,000 persons stats (2012):
At the end of 2016, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police reported 59 murders in the city, marking "one of the most violent years in recent history."
Pittsburgh is home to many colleges, universities and research facilities, the most well-known of which are Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University. Also located in the city are Carlow University, Chatham University, Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.
The Greater Pittsburgh area is also home to four Commonwealth Campuses of the Pennsylvania State University system including Penn State Beaver, Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, Penn State Greater Allegheny, and Penn State New Kensington.
The campuses of Carlow, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh are located adjacent to each other in the Oakland neighborhood that is the city's traditional cultural center. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university founded by Andrew Carnegie and is ranked 23rd overall on US News & World Report list of America's Best National Universities. CMU is globally respected for its School of Computer Science, College of Engineering, School of Business, Heinz College, College of Fine Arts, writing, social and decision sciences, information systems, statistics, and psychology programs. The University of Pittsburgh, established in 1787 and popularly referred to as "Pitt", is a state-related school with one of the nation's largest research programs. Pitt is ranked as the 20th national public university by US News & World Report and 62nd overall, and is known for the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, and other biomedical and health-related sciences. Carlow University is a small private Roman Catholic university that while coeducational, has traditionally educated women. Chatham University, a liberal arts women's college with coeducational graduate programs, is located in the Shadyside neighborhood, but also maintains a 388-acre (157 ha) Eden Hall Farm campus located in the North Hills. Duquesne University, a private Catholic university located in the Bluff neighborhood and is noted for its song and dance troupe, the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, as well as programs in law, business, and pharmacy. Point Park University was founded in 1961 and is well known for its Conservatory of Performing Arts and its Pittsburgh Playhouse.
Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers are paid well relative to their peers, ranking 17th in 2000 among the 100 largest cities by population for the highest minimum salary offered to teachers with a BA ($34,300). Pittsburgh ranked fifth in the highest maximum salary offered to teachers with an MA ($66,380). Local public schools include many charter and magnet schools, including City Charter High School (computer and technology focused), Pittsburgh Montessori School (formerly Homewood Montessori), Pittsburgh Gifted Center, Barack Obama Academy of International Studies 6-12, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6–12, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.
Private schools in Pittsburgh include Bishop Canevin High School, Central Catholic High School, Oakland Catholic High School, Winchester Thurston School, St. Edmund's Academy, yeshiva schools and The Ellis School. Shady Side Academy maintains a PK–5 primary school campus in the Point Breeze neighborhood, in addition to its 6–12 middle and upper school campuses located in nearby suburban Fox Chapel. Other private institutions outside of Pittsburgh's limits include North Catholic High School and Seton-La Salle Catholic High School.
The city also has an extensive library system, both public and university. Most notable are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh's University Library System, which rank 9th-largest (public) and 18th-largest (academic) in the nation, respectively.
There are two major daily newspapers in Pittsburgh: the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Weekly papers in the region include the Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Catholic, The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, The New People, and the New Pittsburgh Courier. Independent student-written university-based newspapers include The Pitt News of the University of Pittsburgh, The Tartan of Carnegie Mellon University, The Duquesne Duke of Duquesne University, and The Globe of Point Park University. The University of Pittsburgh School of Law is also home to JURIST, the world's only university-based legal news service.
The Pittsburgh metro area is served by many local television and radio stations. The Pittsburgh designated market area (DMA) is the 22nd-largest in the U.S. with 1,163,150 homes (1.045% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KDKA-TV 2 (CBS), WTAE 4 (ABC), WPXI 11 (NBC), WPGH-TV 53 (Fox), WPCW 19 (CW), WINP-TV 16 (Ion), WPNT 22 (MyNetworkTV), and WPCB 40 (Cornerstone). KDKA-TV, WPCW, WINP-TV, and WPCB are network owned-and-operated stations. WEPA-CD 16 is an independent station owned and operated by the Bruno-Goodworth Network.
WQED 13 is the local PBS station in Pittsburgh. It was established on April 1, 1954, and was the first community-sponsored television station and the fifth public station in the United States. The station has produced much original content for PBS, including Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, several National Geographic specials, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
There is a wide variety of radio stations serving the Pittsburgh market. The first was KDKA 1020 AM, also the world's first commercially licensed radio station, airing on November 2, 1920. Other popular stations include KQV 1410 AM (news), WBGG 970 AM (sports), KDKA-FM 93.7 FM (sports), WKST-FM 96.1 FM (pop and hip-hop), WAMO-AM 660 AM (hip-hop and R&B) WBZZ 100.7 FM (adult contemporary), WDVE 102.5 FM (album rock), WPGB 104.7 FM (Country), and WXDX 105.9 FM (modern rock). There are also three public radio stations in the area; including WESA 90.5 FM (National Public Radio affiliate), WQED 89.3 FM (classical), and WYEP 91.3 FM (adult alternative). Three non-commercial stations are run by Carnegie Mellon University (WRCT 88.3 FM), the University of Pittsburgh (WPTS 92.1 FM), and Point Park University (WPPJ 670 AM).
Pittsburgh's 116-year-old film industry accelerated after the 2006 passage of the Pennsylvania Film Production Tax Credit. According to the Pittsburgh Film Office, over 124 major motion pictures have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Pittsburgh, including The Mothman Prophecies, Wonder Boys, Dogma, Hoffa, The Silence of the Lambs, Flashdance, Southpaw, Striking Distance, Mrs. Soffel, Jack Reacher, Inspector Gadget, The Next Three Days, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and Fences. Pittsburgh became "Gotham City" in 2011 during filming of The Dark Knight Rises. George A. Romero has shot nearly all his films in the area, including his Living Dead series.
The city is served by Duquesne Light, one of the original 1912 power companies founded by George Westinghouse. Water service is provided by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and Pennsylvania American Water. Natural gas is provided by Equitable Gas, Columbia Gas, Dominion Resources, Direct Energy, and Novec.
The two largest area health care providers are the world-renowned University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) (since 1893) and Allegheny Health Network (since 1882). Both flagship hospitals annually rank as among the best overall in the United States, with UPMC being among U.S. News and World Report's "Honor Roll" every year since 2000.
The first military hospital in U.S. history as well as the first west of the Atlantic Plain—General Edward Hand Hospital—served the area from 1777 to 1845. Since 1847, Pittsburgh has hosted the world's first "Mercy Hospital". This was followed by West Penn hospital in 1848, Passavant Hospital in 1849, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1883, Children's Hospital in 1887, and Magee Womens Hospital in 1911. In 1954, Allegheny General (AGH) was among the first to administer Cobalt therapy.
In 1980, UPMC announced a $250 million ($825 million today) expansion and also hired transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl. In 1984, Allegheny General surgeons pioneered modern brain surgery. Dr. Starzl arranged the 1985 liver transplant of 5 year old Amie Garrison as a UPMC surgery team flew to Baylor University, starting its transplant program. Also in 1985, UPMC surgeons Drs. Griffith, Hardesty, and Trento revealed a new device after a heart-lung transplant. In 1986, UPMC announced a $230 million ($503 million today) modernization. In 1996, UPMC's planned Sicily ISMETT branch was approved by the Italian government as transplant surgeons to supervise and deliver the world's third (both earlier ones done at UPMC)--and first public—cross species marrow transplant at University of California, San Francisco. UPMC's Thomas Detre founded the International Society for Bipolar Disorders at a world medical conference in Pittsburgh in 1999.
The $80 million ($111 million today) UPMC Sports Performance Complex for the Pittsburgh Panthers & Pittsburgh Steelers opened in 2000. In 2002, AGH opened its $30 million ($40.6 million today), 5 floor, 100,000 sq. ft., cancer center. The $130 million ($173 million today) 350,000 sq. ft. Hillman Cancer Center opened in 2003 as UPMC entered into an 8-year, $420 million ($533 million today) agreement with IBM to upgrade medical technologies & health information systems.
In 2009, the $600 million ($667 million today) Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC opened. The campus was featured in world news in 2012 for several unique approaches to patient care. UPMC officially adopted in Erie, Pennsylvania's Hamot Medical Center in 2010. The Pittsburgh Penguins announced a state of the art training facility with UPMC in 2012. UPMC announced in 2013 that it had partnered with Nazarbayev University to help found its medical school.
UPMC has pioneered several world firsts including the first known cystic fibrosis heart-lung transplant (1983), the world's first simultaneous liver and heart transplant operation on a child (6-year-old Stormie Jones in 1984), the youngest heart-lung transplant (9 years old in 1985), the world's first heart-liver-kidney transplant (1989), the world's first heart-liver transplant on an infant (1997), the first pediatric heart-double lung-liver transplant (1998), the nation's first double hand transplant (2009), and the first total forearm and hand transplant (2010), as well as the state's first heart transplant (1968).
The Lancet published a 2012 UPMC study of two 9 year quadriplegics being able to move a robotic arm by thought, to pick up objects, shake hands, and even eat. Wiring the brain around spine damage to restore arm and leg muscle function was successful using robotic arms controlled via an embedded computer to translate signals near a small group of neurons with 200 needles.
Pittsburgh is a city of bridges. With a total of 446, it has three bridges more than Venice, Italy, which has historically held the title "City of Bridges." Around 40 bridges cross the three rivers near the city. The Smithfield Street Bridge was the world's first lenticular truss bridge. The city's Three Sisters Bridges offer a picturesque view of the city from the North. The south-western "entrance" to Downtown for travelers coming in from Interstate 79 and the Pittsburgh International Airport is through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and over the Fort Pitt Bridge. The Fort Duquesne Bridge carrying Interstate 279 is the main gateway from Downtown to both PNC Park, Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino. The Panhandle Bridge carries the Port Authority's Blue/Red/Brown subway lines across the Monongahela River. The renovated J&L Steel Company bridge has been a key traffic/running-biking trail conduit connecting the Southside Works and Pittsburgh Technology Center. Over 2,000 bridges span the landscape of Allegheny County.
Pittsburgh's rail industry dates to 1851 when the Pennsylvania Railroad first opened service between the city and Philadelphia, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad entered the city in 1871. In 1865 Andrew Carnegie opened the Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works which manufactured for the industry until 1919. Carnegie also founded the Union Railroad in 1894 for heavy freight services and it still serves the area's steel industry, while George Westinghouse's Wabtec has been a leader in rail engines and switching since 1869.
Pittsburgh is home to one of Norfolk Southern Railway's busiest freight corridors, the Pittsburgh Line, and operates up to 70 trains per day through the city. The suburban Conway Rail Yard—originally built in 1889—was the largest freight rail center in the world from 1956 until 1980 and is today the nation's second-largest. CSX, the other major freight railroad in the eastern U.S. also has major operations around Pittsburgh.
Amtrak provides intercity rail service via the Capitol Limited and the Pennsylvanian which use Penn Station.
The Port of Pittsburgh ranks as the 21st-largest port in the United States with almost 34 million short tons of river cargo for 2011, the port ranked 9th-largest in the U.S. when measured in domestic trade.
Locals refer to the interstates fanning out from downtown Pittsburgh as the "parkways." Interstate 376 is both the "parkway east" connecting to Interstate 76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) and the "parkway west" connecting to Interstate 79, the Pittsburgh International Airport, the Ohio end of the Turnpike and Interstate 80. The "parkway north" is Interstate 279 connecting to I-79. The "crosstown" is Interstate 579 allowing access to the heart of downtown, the Liberty Tunnels and the PPG Paints Arena. The 45-mile-long and 70-mile-long expressway sections of Pennsylvania Route 28 and U.S. Route 22 also carry traffic from downtown to the northeast and western suburbs, respectively. Interstate 70, 79 and 76 (the Turnpike) roughly form a triangular-shaped "beltway" with Interstate 68 and 80 within the media market's northern and southern limits. Turnpike spurs such as the Mon–Fayette Expressway, Pennsylvania Route 576 and Route 66 also help traffic flow. The non-expressway Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System serves navigation in the region.
The city announced plans to make several improvements to the expressways and highways in 2017:Interstate 279/Parkway North will have emergency pull-offs and crossover areas constructed in both directions; $87.9 million project
Interstate 376 will undergo median crossover work; $66.3 million project
Interstate 79 will be repaved; $16.7 million project
Route 65 will have improvements such as concrete patching, an asphalt overlay, bridge reconstruction, base repairs, drainage and guide rail updates, new signs, retaining wall repairs and pavement-marking installation; $25.3 million project
Pittsburgh International Airport and Arnold Palmer Regional Airport provide commercial passenger service to the metropolitan area.
Port Authority of Allegheny County, commonly known as the Port Authority, but sometimes referred to by its former nickname "PAT" or "PAT Transit", is the region's mass transit system. While serving only a portion of the Pittsburgh area (the nation's 20th largest metro area), it is the 11th largest transit agency in the nation and helped the region rank 8th on commuters that use non-car means to work, second to only Chicago in metros outside the Northeast corridor. Port Authority runs a network of intracity and intercity bus routes, the Monongahela Incline funicular railway (more commonly known as an "incline") on Mount Washington, a light rail system that runs mostly above-ground in the suburbs and underground as a subway in the city, and one of the nation's largest busway systems. The Duquesne Incline is operated by a non-profit preservation trust, but accepts Port Authority passes and charges Port Authority fares.
Between 2007 and 2010, the Port Authority cut annual expenses by $52 million and raised revenues by $14 million to help alleviate a $472 million gap in the state transportation budget.
The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Pittsburgh, PA, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 73 min. 23% of public transit riders, ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 17 min, while 33% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 6.3 km, while 11% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.
Pittsburgh has 21 sister cities: