Pittsburgh - geography.

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Pittsburgh - geography.

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Publié le : 4/5/2013 -Format: Document en format HTML protégé

Pittsburgh - geography.
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Pittsburgh - geography.
I

INTRODUCTION

Pittsburgh, city in western Pennsylvania and seat of Allegheny County. Pittsburgh was the nation's foremost industrial city of the 19th century and was famous for its
steel production. Beginning in the 1970s it underwent severe deindustrialization as its massive steel complexes began to close. Today Pittsburgh is a postindustrial city,
with an economy based on services, especially medical, financial, corporate, and educational, rather than steel.
Pittsburgh sits astride the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers where they unite to form the Ohio River. Much of the city lies on hills surrounding this historic river
junction, although Pittsburgh's downtown core is clustered on a wedge of level ground framed by the rivers and dubbed the "Golden Triangle." Winters in Pittsburgh can
be cold and snowy and summers hot and humid, but seasons are usually moderate. The average high temperature in January is 1°C (34°F) and the average low is -8°C
(19°F); the average high in July is 28°C (83°F) and the average low is 16°C (62°F). The city annually receives 936 mm (36.9 in) of precipitation, with accumulations
evenly distributed throughout the year.
The city developed around a frontier fort used by both the British and the French in the 18th century. In 1794 Pittsburgh was incorporated as a borough and in 1816
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted it city status. It is named after William Pitt, prime minister of Britain in the late 18th century.

II

PITTSBURGH AND ITS METROPOLITAN AREA

Pittsburgh occupies a land area of 143.7 sq km (55.5 sq mi). Over the years it has grown primarily by annexation. Between 1868 and 1900, for example, the city
increased its land area nearly 16 fold to 73 sq km (28 sq mi). In 1907 it annexed the neighboring industrial city of Allegheny, increasing its land area by 21 sq km (8 sq
mi) and its population by 150,000. Average elevation of the city is 226 m (743 ft).
Pittsburgh is the center of a metropolitan area covering Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Beaver, Butler, and Fayette counties, a region of 11,976 sq km (4,624
sq mi). The metropolitan area has several small cities and substantial towns, including Butler, Greensburg, McKeesport, Uniontown, and Washington. Among Pittsburgh's
suburbs are Bethel Park, Fox Chapel, McCandless, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Penn Hills, and Sewickley. Pittsburgh has many distinct neighborhoods; 90 are officially
recognized.
The city is remarkable for its grand entrances, especially if approached from the west through the Fort Pitt tunnel and bridge or from the north on Interstate 279 and
the Fort Duquesne or Veterans bridges. The city's core remains hidden by hills until travelers come upon its central business district, the Golden Triangle, centered
where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio River. Greeting visitors is Point State Park, with its tall lighted fountain at the triangle's tip, and a
number of uniquely designed skyscrapers.
Notable among Pittsburgh's buildings are the Gateway Center Complex (1950-1953), the Gothic towers of the PPG World Headquarters (1984), One Mellon Bank Center
(1983), One Oxford Centre (1983), the Columbia Natural Gas Building (1987), Fifth Avenue Place (1987), and the USX Tower (1971), at 64 stories the tallest building
between New York and Chicago. Other architectural landmarks within the Golden Triangle include the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail (1888), designed by the
noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson; the Trinity Cathedral (1872); the First Presbyterian Church (1905); and the Union Trust Building (today Two Mellon
Bank Center, 1916).

III

POPULATION

The population of Pittsburgh has steadily declined since 1950, when it peaked at 676,806 residents. While some people left the city proper for suburban communities
within the region, many moved out of the area in search of jobs.
In 2000 the city had 334,563 persons, compared to 423,938 in 1980. Pittsburgh was the nation's 30th largest city in 1980, 40th largest city in 1990, and 53rd largest
city in 2000. In 2006, its population was estimated at 312,819.
The population of Allegheny County dropped from 1,450,085 in 1980 to 1,281,666 in 2000. While the number of residents in the six-county metropolitan area fell in the
1980s, it remained fairly stable in the 1990s. In 2006 the metropolitan region had 2,370,776 inhabitants.
Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have a relatively elderly population compared to many other cities--in 2000 some 16.4 percent of city residents were age 65 years or
older, compared to 12.4 percent for the country as a whole.
Pittsburgh had many immigrants from Britain, Ireland, and Germany through the first century or so of its existence. Later the nationalities of those arriving shifted to
Poles, Hungarians, Serbs, Croatians, Italians, and Russian Jews. Most emigration to the city halted at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Since then relatively few
people have come to Pittsburgh from other countries, even though the nation as a whole has seen a large increase in Hispanic and Asian immigration.
While foreign-born persons made up only 4.6 percent of the city's population in 1990, Pittsburgh retains a strong ethnic character. Many neighborhoods have a clear
ethnic identity, such as Bloomfield (Italian), the South Side and Polish Hill (Polish), and Squirrel Hill (Jewish). The eastern neighborhoods of Point Breeze, Shadyside, and
Squirrel Hill are attractive city living areas, while other sections of the city afford views of the rivers and the Golden Triangle from houses constructed on steep slopes.
Pittsburgh's black population began to arrive far back in the city's history, but its biggest growth came in the first half of the 20th century largely through migration
from the South. Blacks predominate in several areas throughout the city, the largest being Beltzhoover, the Hill, Homewood-Brushton, and Manchester. The black
community possesses a rich cultural heritage in jazz and art, as well as having been the sponsor of the two of greatest baseball teams in the former Negro League, the
Crawfords and the Homestead Grays.
According to the 2000 census, whites were 67.6 percent of the population, blacks 27.1 pe...


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