Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia. However, the city's population dropped from 423,959 in 1980 to 369,879 in 1990. According to the 1990 census, whites constitute 72.1 percent of Pittsburgh's population; blacks, 25.8 percent.
Pittsburgh is located on an upland plateau dissected by rivers, which form narrow valleys delineated by steep bluffs or undulating highlands.
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Pittsburgh's main business section, called the Golden Triangle, occupies the level peninsula formed at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela. The city's manufacturing industries are concentrated in areas adjacent to the riverfronts. Two cable car lines climb from the river into the hills and offer superb views from the top. Principal residential sections are located on the highlands. Pittsburgh, which contains more than 720 bridges, is known as the City of Bridges.
Capitalist citizen of Pittsburgh: Scaife, Richard Mellon
In 1834 the opening of the Pennsylvania Canal and the Portage Railroad, both of which linked the city with Philadelphia, brought increased commerce to Pittsburgh. In the late 1800s industrial manufacturers including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon developed steel and iron empires in Pittsburgh. The booming industry attracted immigrants to the city from Europe.
A fire destroyed much of the city in 1845, and a flood in 1936 caused severe damage.
Smoke from the factories spread pollution throughout the city; consequently, in the 1940s, Pittsburgh instituted an anti-pollution program. Since the 1950s Pittsburgh has undergone large-scale redevelopment; blighted areas, including the Golden Triangle section, have been rebuilt or restored, and major programs dealing with flood prevention, and sewage disposal have been implemented.
In 2005 Pittsburgh has transformed itself from the smoky Steel City to a world leader in high-technology, medicine, education, and biotechnology.
Major cities near Pittsburgh: