PITTSBURGH — After years of population loss, the former steel town has been reborn as one of America’s most livable cities. But while its white population has stabilized, it continues to lose Black residents at a faster clip than other major cities.
David Motley, a Black venture capitalist, is trying to change that, namely by bringing more Black professionals to Pittsburgh, now a burgeoning center for technology, business and education. In 2003, he moved back to Pittsburgh after getting an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and living in 10 other cities, including Atlanta. He is now hoping to build up a strong middle class in a city that has been hemorrhaging Black residents for years.
“How do you make this new economy available for more people?” said Mr. Motley. “There’s not going to be an overnight fix to this.”
In the past decade, Pittsburgh has lost 9% of its Black population, and it is losing that population at a much faster annual rate than other cities such as Chicago. As the city began attracting more tech companies in the early 2000s and neighborhoods were gentrified, in some cases Black residents could no longer afford to stay. Many moved to outlying suburbs with lower housing costs. Meanwhile, the white population in Pittsburgh has stabilized after 70 years of decline.
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