Provost Office's 'Cool Pittsburgh' Web Site Highlights City's Hot Spots, High Rankings

Issue Date: 
August 24, 2010

A colorful Web site called Cool Pittsburgh ( shouts a friendly “Hello!” to students settling in Pittsburgh to live, work, and study.

Launched in Fall 2007 by the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of the Provost, Cool Pittsburgh provides a thorough resource for questions ranging from where to buy vegan food to what is the best spot for a $1 draft.

While the site was created with Pitt graduate and professional students in mind, its content could be helpful to any student—or new faculty or staff member, for that matter. The tabs across the top of the page—Live, Eat, Play, Shop, and Go—offer complete guides to 13 Pittsburgh neighborhoods, including their best features, coolest restaurants, cultural activities, shopping areas, green spaces, and public transportation options.

In addition, Cool Pittsburgh offers links to all regional utility companies, as well as international grocery stores, farmers markets, bike trails, theater possibilities, and much more.

The city’s diverse range of activities and amenities—as well as its visible international heritage—have put Pittsburgh at the top of several recent livability surveys. In May 2010, ranked Pittsburgh as the Most Livable City—based on its affordability, safety, arts and leisure scene, and job prospects. One month later, again included the city in its rankings—No. 7 on the list of Best Places to Raise a Family. And last year, The Economist magazine named the Pittsburgh metropolitan region as the United States’ Most Livable City. Also in 2009, Pittsburgh hosted the international G20 Summit.

For the Office of the Provost, the site is a valuable recruiting tool as it presents a picture of city life—and graduate-student academic life. The Grad Life section features perspectives on the city from several graduate students. Viewers can follow them through a typical “Day in the Life’ of a Pitt grad student . . . from where they grab reasonably priced Indian food (food trucks on Bigelow Boulevard) to where they drop their little ones off for reliable child care (University Child Care Center).

“We want to show applicants to graduate and professional programs that choosing Pitt will give them an opportunity to live in a vibrant city with abundant cultural opportunities, green living, and diverse ethnic neighborhoods,” said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson.

The Cool Pittsburgh Web was created by the Web team in University Marketing Communications, part of Pitt's Office of Public Affairs. The site received two awards in 2008—the Circle of Excellence Silver Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Interactive Media Design Award of Excellence from the Pittsburgh chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.