Pittsburgh Set to Become First City Run by Google

The corridors of the City-County building were buzzing today as news leaked of a deal between Google and the City of Pittsburgh that will turn the Steel City into the first metropolis to be fully administered and funded by the internet search giant. The landmark agreement had its origins in talks about expanding Google’s Bakery Square complex to accommodate future production of its self-driving automobiles, which they hope to eventually test on the City’s streets, with the disruption of Uber’s program a bonus.

Though the Peduto administration was very much on the side of technology company, the fact remained that there were still a great number of hoops to jump through and due process to be followed to ensure the interests of the City were being properly looked after. At some point a council member joked that it would be easier for Google to just take over the City instead of trying to negotiate with it, and, after the polite laughter had subsided, the idea began to receive serious consideration.

Soon detailed discussions were underway about the merits of having Google take over the entire Pittsburgh operation. Since the City is a public entity and not privately owned it is not as straightforward as handing over a check. But after a quick brainstorming session Google executives put together a compelling proposal that was immediately sanctioned by the relevant government authorities, citing the precedent of allowing private monopolies to run regulated utilities as long as it was for the common good.

The plan calls for Google to take over and fund all City operations in exchange for de facto ongoing control over matters like zoning and the ability to pilot its forward-looking initiatives, such as the self-driving cars, in a realistic environment (Uber is rumored to be moving to Cleveland in response). It will still have to be approved by plebiscite, but, since it would involve substantial improvement of local infrastructure on Google’s dime, as well as the abolition of all forms of local taxation, this is expected to be little more than a formality.

The deal received the ultimate blessing this morning when Google executive Sharon Lacey made a call to founder Larry Page, who said ‘go for it’.

“To be honest I’m not 100% sure if he realized he was buying Pittsburgh, PA, and not Pittsburg, CA, as he was in the middle of a tense negotiation with the Chinese, but it doesn’t really matter. Mid-level takeovers like this don’t normally require his personal involvement. It was more about being able to let the people know he cares.”

As part of the deal Lacey will relocate to Pittsburgh to act as local overseer. She takes pains to assure everyone that life in Pittsburgh will continue as normal. Elections will still be held for local offices, though the results will now be non-binding recommendations to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View CA. However she expects that the wishes of the people will be respected.

“Life will continue much as before, except that anyone found using ‘Bing’ will find themselves subject to arrest.”

All around, the sound of laptops being closed is heard, until everyone realizes she is joking.

“Of course you can still use Bing if you really want to. Or Yahoo. The only crime will be that of denying yourself the benefits of our superior PageRank algorithm.”

Mayor Peduto will be invited to stay on of course and may continue to use his title, though technically he will now be a Google employee. As a mark of respect and goodwill, he will be given the rank of a senior project manager within the organization.

“What does this City have – about 300K residents? Normally a project of that size at Google would be handled by a junior engineer, or passed off to a summer intern. But we don’t want to get off on a bad foot.”

The idea of Google buying and running a city to test its various projects had been kicked about for years, but had never progressed beyond very limited field tests by the Google Fiber team. Pittsburgh is seen as much more attractive than suburban LA municipalities as they are too modern and not ‘real world’ enough.

“And it doesn’t get more real than ‘Da Burgh’. Did I say that right?”

55 Comments on "Pittsburgh Set to Become First City Run by Google"

  1. Will they change the name from Pittsburgh to Googleburgh?

  2. If the rumors are true this is going to happen in Canonsburg/Strabane/Houston as an adjunct to the proposed Canonsburg-Houston-Strabane mono-rail.

  3. Aww I was excited to see someone other than the normal idiots be in charge around here. Damn you satire website!

  4. Is today April 1st?

  5. Hell, I almost told my family to pack their bags. If this wasn’t satire I’d be moving to the Burg’s!!!

  6. As a Pittsburgher who lives in Mountain View,CA, I am cracking up.

  7. I hear all residents will be issued Google Glasses. Eventually all City business will be done via the devices.

  8. the only thing funnier than the article is the people that think this is real.

  9. Fact: Google is really an arm of the former KGB. Everything they do is funded by Russia.

    • They are NOT run by the KGB. That’s a cover story to hide the truth which is that they are being run by aliens from the dark side of the moon.

  10. So I guess this means we go from the Steel City to the Chrome City?

  11. How stupid are you people to believe this is real?

  12. Pittsburgh already has two sets of overlords. Would the others depart finally for this new one? And, the one’s that are to run the city, would they depart too?

  13. This looks interesting

  14. richard mcdonough | March 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Reply

    Entirely within the realm of Reason in a country where corporations buy congressmen.

  15. As long as Google knows how to fill potholes, then I’m in favor.

  16. Does this mean we will get Google Fibre soon?

  17. How could any of you believe an article with this quote is real:

    “Life will continue much as before, except that anyone found using ‘Bing’ will find themselves subject to arrest.”

  18. Judas Pumper | March 7, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Reply

    Bad idea. Bob the ASCII bot is still trying to take google down for ruining youtube by making it a for-profit corporate shill.
    (Remember Bob? He has his own youtube channel…) Who gets the money? Well who always gets the money? Whose mone is it, anyway? Whose name is on it? The Federal Reserve bank, a private bank, property of the illuminati. So whose money is it really? Funny paper. Worthless frog skin.

  19. holy fuck … I think the smartphone world we live in has dumbed everyone down a notch … maybe more satire needs to be taught in our public schools …

  20. Holy fuck … I think the smartphone world we live in has dumbed everyone down a notch … maybe we need more satire in our public schools …

  21. Is this real? I’d also like to see some sources, as there is absolutely nothing about this online… anywhere.

  22. Is it April 1st already?

  23. anonymous1111 | March 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Reply


  24. This is satire. Amazingly bluntly and corny at that. Honestly blowing my mind that so many people believed more than a paragraph.

  25. Bunny Watson | March 7, 2015 at 10:59 am | Reply

    Clearly hardly anyone read the “About” page:

    “Welcome to Breaking Burgh, a satirical blog serving Western Pennsylvania and beyond”

    Besides, Google would just sell us to Portland or something. THEN watch your property taxes soar…

    Loving the wisecracks. Keep up the good work.

  26. I’m an Uber driver and I don’t want to lose another job. This is bad for an already struggling economy. How can the govt let a company who employs 160,000 worldwide let greed be the only reason this company. “We”, the drivers built only to let them take the jobs away. That’s fucked up!

  27. Pedutohead would love to give up the hard work of running the city and get back to what he does best: taking free trips around the country. Let’s make this farce a reality.

  28. I can’t believe people actually think this is a serious article. SMH

  29. Deanmychal DeBardelaben | March 7, 2015 at 9:58 am | Reply

    This will be a interesting transition but i need to read more details

  30. great website, bro – very funny

  31. if it helps my google hosted website load faster and become more visible to search engines then i’m all for it

  32. It’s a joke, you morons. My goodness.

    • Chris Ritter | March 7, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Reply

      I AGREE with you since there’s a ton of them MORONS here already what can we do about them i’m becoming a Anti-Poloticianist even anyones vote’s doesnt even count anymore they will put the F^&king morons in office anyways…

  33. This is a joke, right? Has to be. We are not for sale. How much is a city in the US costs these days and who exactly receives the $?

    • Sterling Archer | July 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm | Reply

      Kelly… Come on now…. you know better than this. All of you should be ashamed. Go read the articles on The Onion, they will shed some light

  34. You guys are stupid… this is such a phenomenal idea! Google has done nothing short of create a country on its own by simply being aware. The products they create…the services they provide… the concern with the overall human interest in an unbiased manner…they have done all of this while still growing. I look forward to watching the future start in Pittsburgh! High time for a drastic change for our obviously broken government structure. This has promise.

    • It’s a fact that Google was founded with money from the CIA and works in conjunction with the NSA. This is not such a stellar idea.

      • Larry Page and Sergey Brin were college kids at Stanford who founded Google with no ties to the CIA. Responding to the NSA’s request for information is them following the law, not working in conjunction with them. Neither points you make are facts. Either you are extremely misinformed or you are simply an idiot.

        • LD is the very definition of niave.

          • Sorry CDS you are the definitely the naive one. Just because you watch some shows on Youtube about conspiracies doesn’t make them true. The NSA and CIA are real, but they are not everywhere and running everything. Anyways this is not a real news article so you do not have to add a new layer of tinfoil to your hat.

      • If by fact you mean Faux News, then sure. Google is a CIA- funded, NSA dark project that escaped Snowden’s notice by sheer miracle. Soldier on, LC. Make ‘Murica proud.

      • OMFG I’m dying. Like Pittsburgh somehow before all dis wasn’t apart of the united states and the CIA/nsa had no authority on us. Don’t worry bud the world’s burning anyway maybe they’ll spare us and blow us up first IN THE NAME OF GOOGLE

  35. Reads like something from THE ONION.

  36. Cathy Schwartzmiller | March 6, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Reply

    this is not a good idea!!!

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