Revitalising: Braddock, Pennsylvania

02 Mar

The Mayor, originally uploaded by Hryck..

All the talk of the global financial crisis has meant it’s been easy to feel a bit down of late. But when you do, spare a thought for Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Once somewhat of a boom town – the capital of America’s steel industry – it’s now a very different place. So what to do if your house price has dropped by 80 percent, your population has dropped by 90 percent and the town is overrun with crime and poverty? Well you could try doing what Mayor John Fetterman has done, and just think outside the proverbial square.

Since 2005, Fetterman has been working almost singlehandedly to change the fortunes of this ailing town. For starters, he made a pact to tattoo the date of every murder in the town on his forearm. He’s also working at attracting people from creative industries, and has appeared in national media such as Yahoo News and The Colbert Report to garner support.

It’s still too early to tell whether his initiatives are working, but his commitment is admirable to say the least.

More info at

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Posted by on March 2, 2009 in urban design


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