Pittsburgh Ranked Among Top 8 ‘Digitally Inclusive’ Cities

Brookings Institution study lauds city’s tech-driven, broad-based economic growth

By Kristin Mageras

Published November 21, 2018

Read Time: 2 mins


Pittsburgh’s on a roll — and a new study from the Brookings Institution is the latest example.

The respected Washington, D.C., think tank cited Pittsburgh among the nation’s cities in which a dynamic technology sector is not only helping to grow the economic pie, but to distribute it more equitably to women, people of color and workers without college degrees.

“In an era of worsening social and regional inequality, these metro areas serve as important reminders that high value, tech-driven growth is, in fact, compatible with broad-based and inclusive prosperity,” the report concludes.

The other seven cities cited were Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Greenville, S.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; St. Louis, Mo.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Washington, D.C.

“There’s still a lot of room for growth and opportunity we can experience in this area,” said Jonathan Kersting, vice president of communications at Pittsburgh Technology Council. “Pittsburgh is in a fantastic position to lead the way in how a city and its surrounding region can rally its capabilities across technology and manufacturing to create an environment where everyone has a chance to participate and succeed.”

This study comes on the heels of a 2017 report from Brookings, “Capturing the Next Economy: Pittsburgh’s rise as a global innovation city.”

“The culmination of an 18-month study, (the report) examines Pittsburgh’s unique opportunity to become a top global destination for technology-based economic activity and as a key part of Pittsburgh’s efforts to become a world-class innovation city,” the study’s authors wrote.

A small city itself and a microcosm of the region, Pittsburgh International Airport is experiencing its own upsurge of innovation. From partnerships with Carnegie Mellon University and participation in innovation platforms like Plug and Play, PIT is ahead of the smart airport curve.

“Innovation has become somewhat of a buzzword,” said Katherine Karolick, senior vice president of information technology at PIT. “We are striving to be a true learning airport. We want to be a proving ground for innovation that we can use here and that can be exported to other airports and industries.”

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