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Charles Landry – Pittsburgh Charm Bracelet Project Lecture

April 20th, 2007 · 1 Comment

The lecture last night by Charles Landry for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh charm bracelet project often reminded me of a bad college lecture [EDIT: not for lack of effort on the part of Mr. Landry – who really tried to keep it lively – just that it was a large group with uncomfortable chairs listening to 1 person speak through a microphone] (‘cept for the refreshments at the end) - but left me with some great questions to ask myself as I watch Pittsburgh’s redevelopment.  It was my first lecture in city development, and I’ll definitely attend the remaining lectures if I am free.

The questions (roughly) were:

  • What are you doing for others?
  • Does it say yes or does it say no?
  • If Pittsburgh were a person, would it be a man or a woman?

  What are you doing for others?

Mr. Landry thought that the Imagine Pittsburgh campaign would be more effective if, rather than focus on promoting Pittsburgh’s image, it spent its resources doing things for the rest of the world.  He speculated that if Pittsburgh did interesting things that benefited the rest of the world, it would attract people who were interested in the things going on in Pittsburgh.

Does it say Yes or does it say No?

Mr. Landry looked at a number of buildings and signs around Pittsburgh and the world that were just plain ugly.  He speculated about the number of people passing in front of those buildings on any given day, and the collective unhappiness (even if only momentary) that they create.  He also looked at signs around Pittsburgh that prohibited events (No Dogs; Do not Walk on Grass; No Skateboarding) and encouraged us to instead promote such things.

As he suggested, this also applies to people.  Are you a part of the problem (always saying No) or a part of the solution (someone who is willing to work to provide the answer, Yes)?

If Pittsburgh were a person, would it be a man or a woman?

And what type of city do we want Pittsburgh to be? 

The Charm Bracelet Project is just one of the many interesting projects underway by Pittsburgh residents.  For another, check out Pittsblog’s Manifesto for a New Pittsburgh.

Tags: Pittsburgh

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Chris Schultz // Apr 20, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Good stuff! I love all the positive talk about the burgh – It’s time we tried new things instead of not trying anything different for a change!!

    My hope for Pittsburgh is that it doesn’t try to emulate other regions but it becomes an innovator – a city that other cities want to be like.

    We shouldn’t try to be silicon valley with all the tech startups and we shouldn’t try to emulate Boston or other biotech hubs. What if we strived to be Pittsburgh, a place where young entrepreneurs work together with one another in addition to working hand in hand with leading universities, a city that is the leader in green buildings and robotics, and that is the most livable and affordable place to raise a family.

    We are all those things and I am starting to see some real progress!

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