So not the normal place to find urban stuff, but Foreign Policy has an issue dedicated to cities. They cite a list of the world’s 75 most dynamic cities. Don’t get excited. No, we are not on it. I suspect that measuring city size or region size every place on that list is just a lot bigger than we are.
One interesting thing though is that the list does include a place called “Rhine-Ruhr” as #51. There used to be a cottage industry comparing and contrasting the steel-post steel histories of Pittsburgh and the Greater Ruhrgebiet region. Lots of shared industrial decline history between the two regions. The comparison is not perfect. The Rhine-Ruhr region is clearly not any one ‘city’ but several. Duisburg, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Essen, Heidelberg and others; the essence of a ‘conurbation’ to use the 75 cent word (inflation you know).
Duisburg may ring a bell with long time readers here. I mention on occasion Duisburg, one of the Ruhr cities that has an awful lot of similarities to Pittsburgh past, Pittsburgh present and arguably Pittsburgh future at this point.