Events and Meetings


28 September 2017 6pm

Don Carter - ‘The Story of Pittsburgh and Remaking Post-Industrial Cities’

RIBA North  |  FREE

Register your attendance here for free

Donald K. Carter, Director of the Remaking Cities Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, will talk about his new book, Remaking Post-Industrial Cities: Lessons from North America and Europe. The book examines the transformation of ten post-industrial cities after the precipitous collapse of big industry in the 1980s on both sides of the Atlantic. Carter brings together in-depth case studies of five cities in North America (Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Pittsburgh) and five cities in Europe (Bilbao, Liverpool, Rotterdam, Ruhr Region, and Turin). The book documents their recovery in the thirty years from 1985 to 2015, and concludes with "lessons learned."

Within the rustbelt city of Pittsburgh the late 1970s and early 1980s looked a terrifying prospect. With decline reducing population and productivity it looked like one of America’s most important steel cities was destined to become a desolate waste ground. However, something revolutionary was to happen as the regeneration of the city stopped focusing upon a declining population and instead saw the empty lands that had been left as ground upon which the future could be built. Despite the obvious differences between the American Steel City and the port city of Liverpool there are lessons to be learned from an area whose turnaround was unexpected and unheard of.

Don Carter began writing his book ‘Remaking Post-Industrial Cities’ focusing on the regeneration that he had both observed and been involved in within the Pittsburgh city but his focus was not solely left on American cities such as Buffalo, Detroit and New Orleans but began to focus on regeneration of European cities such as Rotterdam, Bilbao, Turin and perhaps most importantly to our perspective; Liverpool. His invite to guest writers to include case studies for the cities with which they had individual experience of took the book from being a singular breakdown of a rejuvenation but looked at the similarities and differences that the principle could be applied to across two continents.

Developed from the influential 2013 Remaking Cities Congress, conference chair Donald K. Carter brings together ten in-depth case studies of cities across North America and Europe, documenting their recovery from 1985 to 2015. Each chapter discusses the history of the city, its transformation, and prospects for the future. The cases cross-cut these themes with issues crucial to the resilience of post-industrial cities including sustainability; doing more with less; public engagement; and equity (social, economic and environmental), the most important issue cities face today and for the foreseeable future.

Donald K. Carter’s book provides essential "lessons learned" from the mistakes and successes of these cities, and is an invaluable resource for practitioners and students of planning, urban design, urban redevelopment, economic development and public and social policy.

Don Carter will be visiting Liverpool’s RIBA North space on 28 September to give a talk about urban regeneration in Pittsburgh, the similarities and differences between Liverpool and what happened in the United States in the late 1980s. The doors will open at 6pm before the talk ‘The Story of Pittsburgh and Remaking Post-Industrial Cities’ starts at 6.30pm. The 40 minute talk will be an interactive multi-media experience with both sound and visuals helping Carter to describe the unique perspective he had on the regeneration of Pittsburgh and the work that he did to improve the area. Carter’s initial talk will be followed by a short discussion with Erik Bichard who wrote Liverpool’s Case Study within ‘Remaking Post-Industrial Cities’, the pair will discuss the writing process that they went through when constructing and assembling the book and the interest of having many voices giving examples and discussing an overarching topic. Don Carter and Erik Bichard will then take questions and answers from the audience whilst offering views on Liverpool’s unsure Unesco status as site of World Heritage.

RIBA North is only 2 minutes walk from Liverpool James Street, accessible to wheelchairs and features complimentary Wi-Fi throughout. Confirm your attendance through the Facebook events page or on Eventbrite. Don Carter is travelling across Europe and the US to talk about the rejuvenation of Pittsburgh and the principles behind it and this is an exclusive chance for anybody interested in architecture, rejuvenation or social communities within cities to listen to an expert in the field.

Merseyside Civic Society welcomes both members and non-members. 

Register your attendance here for free