The Boston Globe profiles Riverlife president Vivien Li

By September 9, 2016Blog
Vivien Li stands near a riverfront parking lot in the Strip District neighborhood.

By Shirly Leung, The Boston Globe
September 9, 2016

PITTSBURGH — On my first trip to this Rust Belt city in the midst of a renaissance, Vivien Li can’t wait to show me something.

We arrive at a mound of gravel and dirt by the Allegheny River. I don’t get it. She left Boston for this?

It has been almost a year since Li stepped down as the head of the Boston Harbor Association, where over a quarter century she emerged as the city’s most powerful waterfront advocate. With our downtown waterfront all but spoken for, Li was lured by the work still to be done in this former steel town that sits at the confluence of the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela rivers.

The city sits at the confluence of the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela rivers.

“Pittsburgh, it’s probably what Boston was, like, five, eight years ago,” said Li, 62, the chief executive ofRiverlife, a nonprofit that restores and promotes the riverfront. “That’s what made the job particularly exciting.”

She took me to this section of town known as the Strip District because it reminded her most of the South Boston Waterfront.

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