At Keystone Crossroads' inaugural Urban Ideas Worth Stealing conference, civic leaders shared some of the innovative projects cities have taken on in recent years.
Jeffery Parks, founder of Steel Stacks, told the story of reimagining the defunct Bethlehem Steel site into the Lehigh Valley's premiere arts and music venue.
Craig Peiffer, streets planner in Reading, spoke about key partnerships to form the city's complete streets policy, which takes into consideration drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and public transit users.
And Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale talked about municipal pensions.
To DePasquale, the projects that are trendy and make cities exciting places to live — think downtown festivals or even a giant slip n' slide — are all nice trimmings. But, he says, the core factors — the meat, if you will — that maintain and grow a city are financial stability and a healthy education system.
Read the full version of this report at Keystone Crossroads' website. Keystone Crossroads is a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.