Pittsburgh's Downtown Named One Of The Most Livable, Though Still Expensive

Mar 8, 2016

Pittsburgh was ranked No. 5 on Livability's list of best downtown areas.
Credit Eamonn O Muiri / Flickr

Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle is on the rise as a great downtown, according to Livability.com. The website named the city as having one of the most livable urban cores. 

“If you’re on lists like this and if you are doing the kinds of things to get that kind of attention, you’ve created a great place for people to come and visit and invest and spend time and move their businesses or themselves to,” said Matt Carmichael, editor of Livability.com

He cited vacancy rates, population growth and population density as key determinants of “livability.” The site also looked at the quality of residents’ and visitors’ experience in downtown.

“Are there parks downtown? Are there arts-related businesses, are the residents of the town actually going out and taking advantage of the things that happen in the city. Are they going to the bars, are they going to the restaurants, are they going to the museums?” Carmichael said.

This accolade is good news for Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s CEO Jim Waldrup. He said downtown is becoming a popular neighborhood not only to work, but to live too, with a 28 percent jump in downtown residents over the past four years. 

There are still improvements to be made in regards to accessibility, however. He said attracting families to the neighborhood is a goal for the future.

“We don’t really have the housing stock that supports what a family needs," Waldrup said. "We need better infrastructure with respect to playgrounds and schools. And those are things that our organization will be working on over the next 10 years."

He said 4,000 units are in the pipeline.

“So, when those units come online, you know, probably four to six year time horizon, you’re going to see an increase in the population of downtown by almost 50 percent," Waldrup said. 

More growth doesn’t necessarily mean affordability for Pittsburghers, though. Waldrup said developers will continue to covet downtown real estate. 

“I think that downtown will continue to be priced at a premium,” he said. “You just look at the finite amount of space that we have here, particularly in the central business district, it’s going to be expensive to call downtown home.”