A Town Revitalized?

Kristine's picture
The ruins in Braddock

A beautifully sad story full of inspiration and hope.

The national economic disaster hit the city of Braddock Pennsylvania like a wrecking ball. But Braddock Mayor John Fetterman—dubbed "America's Coolest Mayor" by The New York Times—is taking very unconventional approaches to reinventing the town and re-inspiring its residents. Home to the nation's first A&P supermarket and Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, Braddock is being revitalized with new youth and art programs, renovations of abandoned real estate, and bold plans to attract artists and green industries.

This week, NOW sits down with Mayor Fetterman to learn how the 6'8" 370-pound political novice is trying to turn his town around, and if other devastated communities can and should follow his large footsteps.

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I get so angry with industries leaving our cities in despair in the 1970's and 1980's.

How did we let this happen to Braddock, Camden, Detroit, and so many other cities?

Braddock's web site redefines boosterism for creative millenials

Have you seen Braddock's web site — http://www.15104.cc? It sports an ultra-gritty punk design and a "destruction breeds creation, create amidst destruction" theme for promoting the city as a place to live and work. You'll find huge galleries of urban ruins and an "Accessible?" section that touts Braddock's proximity to Pittsburgh and its urban connections, including four bus lines serving the city. It's a chamber-of-commerce site like no other and it's part of what's giving Braddock a fighting chance at renewal.

P.S. Your posting hit CNU's Twitter feed and generated some appreciative retweets! See the @replies at twitter.com/newurbanism.


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