Pittsburgh: Partnership and Community Empowerment

  • Brian Jacobs


This chapter shows that Pittsburgh’s business and political leaders have involved neighbourhood groups closely in programmes and that local partnerships have increasingly developed policies that are important for regional economic growth. However, by the 1990s, the once cohesive local corporate elite in Pittsburgh was less homogeneous, being represented by active executives rather than the old corporate barons of the 1940s. The chapter shows that these modern business leaders worked with professionally competent public officials to improve competitiveness in an economy where local communities were encouraged to engage with the regionally active businesses by developing new skills and capacities. While there were many successful public-private partnerships, it was essential that collaborative programmes developed a synergy through effective joint working and focused community leadership. In the search for effectiveness, the discourse about ‘empowerment’ was about capacity-building through the acquisition of community development and business skills. Empowered communities contributed to the wider economy, took advantage of the business and social opportunities that resulted from collaborative working and benefited from improvements to the urban fabric resulting from economic growth and job creation in local industries.


Urban Regeneration City Council Central Business District Nonprofit Organisation Community Empowerment 
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Copyright information

© Brian Jacobs 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Jacobs
    • 1
  1. 1.School of HealthStaffordshire UniversityUK

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