INTRO: The former mayor of Pittsburgh came to Flint yesterday and told real estate and government officials to stop managing decline. Instead, plan for progress. Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus has the story.
Tom Murphy became mayor of Pittsburgh in 1994. Steel mills had closed. And a half million people left. Today he preaches boldness.
“You know there’s a disease in the water all across America. It’s called it’ll do disease.”
Murphy put together a billion dollars of public and private money. He cleaned up polluted land and the famous three rivers.
“This developer wants to build a building and I’ve seen some in Flint to be honest.”
Murphy role plays local officials he thinks are pitiful.
“You know we’re so desperate we got to let him develop. It’s not a particularly attractive building. It doesn’t reflect our values or historic. But it’ll do. Do you want to be an it’ll do town?”
These days, both The Economist and Forbes Magazines have named Pittsburgh the most livable city in America. Tom Murphy urges Michigan cities to reduce dependence on cars, build mass transit and parks. He spoke at the annual Urban Land Institute Forum sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Architecture.
I’m Chris McCarus in Flint.