boom and bust
Pittsburgh region's population on a graph (better yet, do the Population-Timeline
Mural activity in preparation for this discussion). You may do the
graph by hand using the directions for the mural, use a spreadsheet
or graphing computer program, or use the blank
grid we've provided.
the population figures from this table using different colors or patterns for Pittsburgh
and Allegheny County. (When you are done, your
graph should look like this.)
surprises you most about this graph? How long did it take Pittsburgh
to reach its first 100,000? The second? Third?...
did the biggest spurts of population growth occur? What events usually
cause such a spurt? What specific events caused these spurts for
does the pattern of city and county figures suggest about suburban
development? What might be an explanation for the county and city
peaking at different times?
are some possible reasons for Pittsburgh's declining population
after 1950? If people are moving to the suburbs, what should we
expect to see? If people are leaving the area, what should we expect
to see? Where do these patterns occur on our graph?
does population start to decline? What percentage of Pittsburgh's
peak population is its population now? What percentage of Allegheny
County's peak population is its population now? What events or trends
help explain the drop-off in recent decades? What are some of the
challenges of having a declining population?
with research into Pittsburgh's history at the time of the largest
periods of population growth and decline.
all in a name
List Pittsburgh's nicknames over the years. How
many of these nicknames did the class think of? What other nicknames
did the class think of?
- Forks of
to the West
- Smoky City
- Hell with
the lid off
- Iron City
- City of
- Steel City
of the World
- The 'Burgh
Capital of the World
the story behind these nicknames. Then discuss:
they appropriate, if ever? Who was responsible for coining them?
they no longer apply? Which could still be applied now?
seem completely accurate for the time they were used and how many
seem like an exaggeration? How much of an exaggeration?
your favorite nickname from the list? Why? Ask your family members
which they like best and why. What seems most like "home"
to each of them?
you nickname Pittsburgh today? What characteristics of modern Pittsburgh
does your nickname reflect?