Carnegie Mellon University
June 27, 2016

Diverse Cities Share Similar Traits When it Comes to Economic Resurgence

Donald Carter Explores Urban Renaissance in “Remaking Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe”

By Pam Wigley / 412-268-1047 /

Once known as “the smoky city,” Pittsburgh has undergone major changes and has been called one of the most livable cities in America during the past decade.

A new book by Carnegie Mellon University’s Donald Carter looks at the transformation of Pittsburgh and other post-industrial cities in North America and Europe after the collapse of big industry in the 1980s. Carter is a professor of architecture and the David Lewis Director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement of the Remaking Cities Institute at CMU.

“Remaking Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe,” published by Routledge, highlights the resurgence of some diverse cities that, essentially, have quite a bit in common when it comes to economic and environmental resurgence.

The book provides essential “lessons learned” from the successes and mistakes of these cities and is a valuable resource for practitioners and students of planning, urban design, urban redevelopment, and public and social policy.

Developed from the influential 2013 Remaking Cities Congress, conference co-chair Carter brings together 10 in-depth case studies of cities, documenting their recovery from 1985-2015. Each chapter discusses the history of the city, its transformation and prospects for the future.

There have been many pieces written about Pittsburgh’s renaissance, yet Carter’s case study presents never-before-presented research that paints a complete picture detailing exactly how and why this particular region was so successful in reinventing itself.

The book also profiles Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Bilbao, Liverpool, Rotterdam, the Ruhr Region in Germany, and Turin, Italy.

Carter is scheduled to deliver keynote addresses at conferences in Europe and the United States throughout 2016 and 2017, visiting nearly 20 cities.