“Are we working out of conventional wisdom or are we trying to think about the world that might be here 10 years from now?”

“Community based. Pedestrian friendly. Transit oriented. Mixed in uses. High density. Sustainable. Livable.

“Yes, these are the mantras of the progressive rethinking of downtowns across the United States. The irony is that these are the qualities Allegheny City once had. The opportunity is that Allegheny City can have these qualities again.

— Doug Suisman, Reviving the North Side’s ‘Lost City’, Post-Gazette op-ed, April 8, 2007.

Or we could just, y’know, poke a hole in the Mall and call it good enough.

(On the other hand:  “[urban renewal] didn’t work because really basic notions of how human beings perceive and use space were completely misapprehended.”  Or, as Jane Jacobs wrote, “So many irrelevant things have been tried [in Pittsburgh], so ambitiously.”  Fifteen, fifty, sixty-five years—have we actually learned anything yet?)