Sparkling Pittsburgh, latest G20 host, needs new nickname

Ann Hermes / The Christian Science Monitor
Downtown Pittsburgh has transformed itself since its 'Steel City' days.

Pittsburgh is a city in need of a new moniker. "Steel City" just doesn't fit anymore.

It's more software than smokestack these days, which is why President Obama, impressed when he campaigned here, has chosen it as the site of the Sept. 24-25 summit of the Group of 20 nations. He'll point to its reinvention as a growing center for companies involved in information and communications technology, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing. (Click on the video on the right for a look at how the city has transformed itself.)

Steel mills? There's just one left in the city limits.

Pittsburghers are a proud sort for whom Steel City is a kind of badge of gritty honor. But Pittsburgh has come a long way in cleaning up that dirty past and is working hard to build its reputation as a leading American green city.

So what should it call itself? "Renaissance City" belongs to Providence, R.I. One returnee has suggested "Comeback City," but Cleveland tried that in the 1990s.

Perhaps when foreign leaders arrive later this month they'll see with fresh eyes this uniquely American burg shoehorned between rivers and steep hills and come up with a name that befits its latest reincarnation.

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