- New Horizons in Regional Science series
7. Case studies from the United States In this chapter we present five case studies from the US. These are for: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Houston, Texas, Austin, Texas, the State of Colorado and Indianapolis, Indiana 7.1 7.1.1 PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, USA Background: An Industrial Collapse The collapse of the steel industry in the early 1980s hit Pittsburgh so forcefully that, in the period from 1979 to 1988, the region suffered a decline of 44 percent in manufacturing jobs (Clark, 1989: 41; Sbragia, 1990: 53–4). Such a decline caused the region to lead the nation in population loss during those years. However, by the late 1980s, Pittsburgh was rising from the debris of a collapsed steel industry, towards a city of standing in cultural offerings, with one of the best public education systems in the country, and very livable neighborhoods. Such an urban renaissance was not only due to the fact that Pittsburgh possessed potential sources of new employment and therefore was able to develop ‘new exports’, but also because it was the result of private and public leaders concerned with the region’s economic development (Sbragia, 1990: 53–4). In Pittsburgh, there has been a long history of cooperation. The culture of cooperation between the public and private sectors has been so sustained that it has given Pittsburgh policymaking a distinctive character. The recent prominent involvement of the non-profit sector in the city’s economic development strategy has also been noteworthy. The ‘politics of consensus’ describes Pittsburgh politics more accurately than it does...
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