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Pittsburgh Regional Indicators Initiative Launches Web Site to Help Build Awareness of Extended Region's Interdependency
Oct 11, 2007 (10:10 AM EDT)


PITTSBURGH, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pittsburgh Regional Indicators Consortium, an initiative of prominent community leaders to foster a more holistic and accurate understanding of the economic, political and cultural interdependency of a broadly defined metropolitan Pittsburgh region, has launched a Web site ( http://www.pittsburghtoday.org ) to showcase data and analysis relevant to the extended area.

The Consortium defines the metropolitan Pittsburgh region as the twenty- two counties surrounding the city, including those in West Virginia and Ohio. Traditional definitions of the Pittsburgh area do not include such an expansive geographical zone. ( http://www.pittsburghtoday.org/web/pittsburgh.jsp )

The new Web site offers access to detailed and continuously updated statistics on nine key components -- called "indicators" -- of the region's life: Arts, Demographics, Economy, Education, Environment, Government, Health, Safety and Transportation. A tenth indicator, focused on sustainability issues, will be added soon.

Data sets are benchmarked against other metropolitan areas across the U.S.

Founders of the Indicators project include former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and former Alcoa CEO Paul O'Neill and former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editor John G. Craig Jr.

"As our region continues its transformation from our industrial past, it is critical that decision-makers in government and business have access to meaningful, reliable and up-to-date data about the life of the extended area," said Craig, the Consortium's president. "Too often, we see decisions made on a narrow perspective that does not reflect the reality of where we are in our region's evolution.

"We must reshape our view and see the region as the 'city state of Pittsburgh,' in real time," Craig said.

Others on the Consortium's Organizing Committee are Dr. Bernard Goldstein, retired dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; Dr. Granger Morgan, professor and head of the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at ; and Dr. Lauren Resnick, director of the University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center.

Craig said that other subject areas, and wider data sets and analysis, will be added as the Indicators project grows. "This is a not static posting of mere facts. The Indicators program, and the scope of data and analysis it offers through its Web site, will continue to expand and adapt as we reach out to a broad constituency across the twenty-two county region."

Craig urged community leaders across the region, especially those in counties outside the traditionally defined Pittsburgh metropolitan area, to get involved in the initiative. ( www.pittsburghtoday.org/web/feedback.jsp )

"We see ourselves as a catalyst for a new way of thinking about our part of the country, and through that expanded horizon, a more vigorous public discussion about where we are and where we need to go," Craig said.

Data on the http://www.pittsburghtoday.org site is culled from various government, academic and business research providers, both locally and around the world. Christopher Briem, a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh Center of Social and Urban Research, serves as the Consortium's director of research. Harold Miller, former president of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and currently president of Pittsburgh's Future LLC, a management and policy consulting firm, is a key advisor on strategy and indicator development.

Citizen advisors, organized around each indicator topic, provide guidance and feedback to the Consortium.

Financial and in-kind support for the Indicators Consortium was provided by several regional universities, foundations, and nonprofit organizations.

The new Web site is managed by 3 Rivers Connect, a nonprofit agency that helps individuals, educators and community leaders harness information and technology.

MEDIA CONTACT: John Buckman Buckman Communications, for the Pittsburgh Regional Indicators Consortium 412.381.2900 jbuckman@buckman.biz

CONTACT: John Buckman of Buckman Communications, for the Pittsburgh jbuckman@buckman.bizRegional Indicators Consortium, +1-412-381-2900,

Web site: http://www.pittsburghtoday.org/