Year of Gathering: Reimagining the Rust Belt — Building Authentic, Sustainable Ecosystems for Innovation

September 10, 2020

Senior Research Fellow, Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University

Petra Mitchell
President and CEO, Catalyst Connection

Kent Suhrbier, AIA, LEED AP
Principal, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Alicia Volcy
Design and Development Consultant, Studio Volcy

Reimagining the Rust Belt — Building Authentic, Sustainable Ecosystems for Innovation

American Rust Belt cities like Pittsburgh are experiencing a unique moment — one where companies, universities, and community organizers converge to develop innovation ecosystems rooted in their location and a moment born from the legacy of American manufacturing. The warehouses, mills, and industrial building stock that have long given Pittsburgh its character, offer a unique opportunity for reimagining its future, particularly for those focused on rapid manufacturing and digital fabrication. Adapting these buildings offers an affordable, sustainable solution for growing an entrepreneurial network that is culturally sensitive and equitable. Small companies and community-led organizations can leverage the lower barrier to entry when adapting underutilized industrial buildings, helping revitalize neighborhoods from a grassroots level. Meanwhile, large tech companies and universities looking to attract and retain top talent are repurposing large historical structures while capturing identity and an authentic connection to place. Watch the conversation where we looked to Pittsburgh as an example, beginning at the urban / street scale and as we discuss national and international trends.

Watch the full webinar below: