Pittsburgh aims to strut its stuff at G20 meeting

Thu Jul 9, 2009 8:17pm EDT
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By Jonathan Barnes

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Pittsburgh is hoping the world's most powerful leaders will see more than the city's quaint funicular trains and picturesque rivers when they meet here in September.

City leaders hope their selection for the Group of 20 summit signals recognition that in difficult economic times the city has turned from a suffering steel-making center into a modern hub of education, medicine and technology.

"Our economy is one that's being looked at worldwide, because of our ability to renew ourselves," said Joanna Doven, spokeswoman for Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "The G20 coming to Pittsburgh makes it official -- Pittsburgh is back on top."

Announcing the selection of Pittsburgh to host the two-day summit, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama wanted to highlight its accomplishments.

"It's an area that has seen its share of economic woes in the past, but because of foresight and investment is now renewed, giving birth to renewed industries that are creating the jobs of the future," Gibbs said at a May 28 briefing.

When in Pittsburgh, world leaders will continue to coordinate recovery of the global economy. But an emerging issue to be discussed is the need for a post-crisis "exit strategy" for cutting public deficits being run up by developed nations through huge stimulus packages.

Pittsburgh was rated America's most livable city in 2007 by "Places Rated Almanac," which had given it the same honor in 1985.

Last month, The Economist also bestowed Pittsburgh with the same "most livable" honor among U.S. cities and, in January, Forbes magazine listed Pittsburgh among the 10 top U.S. cities for job growth in 2009.   Continued...

<p>A man casts near a bridge piling on the Ohio River during the 2005 Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in this July 30, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/Files</p>