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What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Pittsburgh

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Relocating to Pittsburgh

About the City

Historically, the city of Pittsburgh was founded in 1758 by the British General John Forbes, with the settlement being named after the notable statesman William Pitt. The city grew over time and by the early 1900s was one of the nations’ largest and most important thanks to its steel industry. With the development and increased use of steel in machinery as well as war, the local economy boomed. The steel industry began to decline in the wake of 1945, but the city continued to thrive; even as recently as the late 2000s recessions, Pittsburgh was one of the few cities adding and not losing jobs.

Several sources, including Forbes Magazine and The Economist, have voted Pittsburgh as being America’s Most Livable City, whilst National Geographic Magazine and Today Magazine have also named the city as a top world destination. Indeed, since 2004, the metropolitan city of Pittsburgh has built over 3,000 new hotel rooms, with a higher potential occupancy capacity than you would find in many other cities of comparable size. Its mixture of commerce, culture and livability make Pittsburgh an ideal location for expats looking to experience an exciting new, international lifestyle.

Known as the ‘City of Champions’ or even as ‘America’s Best Sports City’, according to Sporting News, Pittsburgh boasts a vivid, thriving and diverse community, and not just in sports. Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh produce multiple startups on a yearly basis. This practice, together with the total number of 68 colleges and universities, has also earned Pittsburgh the title of “America’s smartest”.

The city of Pittsburgh spreads over more than 58 square miles and in many places is bordered by the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. Much of the city is built upon slopes or inclines. Consequently, about a quarter of all of the street names in the city make reference to hills, slopes or heights of some kind. The Great Allegheny Passage and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath connect the city directly to Washington, D.C. – around 245 miles away – and there is a continuous bike and running trail that runs that distance, too.

The Climate in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh lies in the humid continental climate zone and as such the city enjoys a quite moderate climate. Winters tend to be cold with an average January temperature of about 36°F (2°C) during the day. At the other end of the calendar, the summers reach an average high of about 82°F (28°C) in July. The wind speed tends to be similar all year round with it being close to 10mph most weeks, and the city receives about 38 inches of rain a year, which is just shy of the 40 inch national average.

In a 2013 ranking of 277 metropolitan areas in the United States, the American Lung Association Pittsburgh ranked seventh in terms of short-term particle pollution, and eighth in regard to higher amounts of year-round particle pollution. For ozone pollution, Pittsburgh was ranked 24th amongst other United States metropolitan areas. However, air quality has been improving steadily over the years.

Neighborhoods & Accommodation

Finding accommodation in Pittsburgh is much the same as finding accommodation in any other city. There are always important factors to bear in mind and it is worth researching carefully and thinking about what kind of area you want to be in, as well as what kind of activities, travel or amenities you’re likely to make use of.

The Golden Triangle is Pittsburgh’s downtown area and is home to a number of the city’s cultural landmarks and hubs, as well as 30 skyscrapers. The area is experiencing a growth in its residential buildings and is well-serviced by the Port Authority’s subway, with several bridges leading out of the downtown area.

The North Side once operated as Allegheny City and was separate from the city of Pittsburgh. The area is made up primarily of residential areas and is noted by many for its architecture, with many houses and buildings having stood since the 19th century. Once composed largely of inexpensive, dense housing, the South Side has in recent years become one of the most popular areas in which to own a home, with prices rising for the last 10 years. Redevelopment began in 1993 and the South Side is now an area made up of residential and commercial buildings.

The city’s East End is largely made up of student homes, as many of the city’s universities can be found in the East End. Student homes are interspersed with some expensive neighborhoods and shopping centers. Opposite, the West End is made up of a mixture of low and high price residential areas, as well as being home to Mt. Washington, a picturesque part of the city that overlooks downtown Pittsburgh.

May 16, 2024, 11:30 PM
70 attendees
Spring is here and we are all ready to enjoy. Our meeting spot is City Kitchen nested in the heart of the Pittsburgh East End’s Bakery Square. It's the perfect place to spend our evening. There are
Apr 25, 2024, 12:00 AM
83 attendees
Hi Expats, let's enjoy at this small chill neighborhood lounge with craft cocktails, sweet tunes, and good vibes. Mixtape is locally-owned (& operated) cocktail bar and lounge proudly located in Pitts
Apr 7, 2024, 10:30 PM
23 attendees
Hi Expats, let's enjoy some cultural exchange at the Carnegie Mellon International "Faces" film festival by watching together 20,000 Species of Bees" from Spain. Film screening starts at 5pm, followed
Hi Expats, Regrettably, Barcelona changed their mind and cannot host us .... BUT, we are excited to let you that instead, we booked at Kingfly Spirits, a Pittsburgh-based distillery dedicated to prod

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Our Global Partners

  • Brian Norris

    When first moving to Washington, D.C., I didn't know many people outside of the office. InterNations has changed that with some exciting events.

  • Caroline Stiles

    In such an international city such as Washington, D.C. InterNations holds great events for everyone to network and enjoy themselves.

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