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[14 Mar 2014 | No Comment | ]
Ohio and the Fate of the “Big Eight”

The 2010 Census produced mixed results for America’s “legacy cities,” that is deindustrialized cities located primarily, but not exclusively, in the Midwest and in the Mid-Atlantic states. While east coast cities like Newark and Philadelphia actually posted population gains, Midwestern Rust Belt cities generally continued their long slide down in terms of population growth. This proved especially true in the state of Ohio, formerly a key manufacturing hub and once arguably the heartland of Industrial North America. For not only have Ohio’s major cities continued to shrink, their population loss …

Architecture, Art, Brain Drain, Economic Development, Editorial, Education, Featured, Good Ideas, Green Jobs, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »

[29 Oct 2013 | No Comment | ]
Ten Lessons from Boulder, Colorado

 
I had the great pleasure of visiting Boulder, Colorado for the first time over an extended weekend. As an urban planner, I was able to take away many useful lessons for Rust Belt communities from the lovely city abutting the Front Range. Granted, not every place can be set aside majestic mountains, but every community does have unique attributes.
Here are what I would quantify as the top ten. Many of these are remarkably similar to the ten lessons from European industrial cities published earlier this month.

Cherish, protect, enhance, and enjoy …

Brain Drain, Education, Green Jobs, The Environment, Urban Planning »

[1 Mar 2013 | No Comment | ]

 
 
 
 
 
 
Published annually by Fourth Economy Consulting of Pittsburgh, the Fourth Economy Index identifies those counties that are “ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth.” The index is broken down into micro (<25,000 population) small (25,000-49,999), mid-sized (50,000-149,999), and large (150,000-499,999) counties based on population.  The following five metrics are utilized as foundations for determining future economic success:
·         Investment
·         Talent
·         Sustainability
·         Place
·         Diversity
 
 
 
 
 
Below is a list of the Top 10 large counties as determined by the Fourth Economy Index – six of which are Rust Belt counties (shown …

Education, Featured, Politics, Urban Planning »

[22 Feb 2013 | No Comment | ]
Urban Problem Solving in Ohio is Devoid of Larger Political Context

The other day I was browsing through Twitter and I came across a tweet about Columbus Public Schools’ reorganization, or “reinvention”; I can’t remember the exact term they were using, but I’m sure it was snappier than that.
It got me thinking. Because when I was last living in Columbus, and that was about six years ago now, they were doing the same thing. I’m pretty sure if we had a time machine and we could travel to the future of Columbus, one, six, 12 years down the line, they’d be …

Economic Development, Education, Featured, Public Transportation, Real Estate, The Environment, Urban Planning »

[5 Sep 2012 | One Comment | ]
Money: Rust Belt suburb is the best place to live in the USA

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
According to September 2012 issue of Money magazine and based on a variety of socio-economic, climatic, financial, and demographic attributes, Carmel, Indiana (just north of Indianapolis) is the best place to live in the United States in 2012. Eden Prairie, Minnesota (southwest of the Twin Cities) took third place in the annual barometer. Other Rust Belt communities included in Money magazine’s Top 100 include:
#11 Woodbury, Minnesota (Twin Cities)
#12 Fishers, Indiana (Indianapolis)
#14 Eagan, Minnesota (Twin Cities)
#19 Lakeville, Minnesota (Twin Cities)
#22 Maple Grove, Minnesota (Twin Cities)
#26 Troy, Michigan (Detroit)
#37 West Bloomfield, Michigan (Detroit)
#39 …

Brain Drain, Economic Development, Education, Headline »

[26 Jul 2012 | No Comment | ]
Innovation Clusters of the Rust Belt

With the recently celebrated opening of the nation’s first satellite office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit, I thought it might be fun to explore which metropolitan regions in the Rust Best are hotspots for new innovation as measured by the number of patents issued. The data provided is cumulative for the five year period of 2006 through 2010.

For Detroit and Buffalo, I also included patent data for adjacent areas in Ontario since they are a part of the metropolitan region. Needless to say, I was rather thrilled to find out which of the metropolitan regions came in first place (even without Windsor’s 376 American patents included). Buffalo’s ranking moved up two spots on the list either with the inclusion of 189 American patents from Niagara Falls and St. Catharines, Ontario.

Brain Drain, Economic Development, Education, Headline, Public Education, The Media, Urban Planning »

[11 Jun 2012 | One Comment | ]
‘Smartest’ US Cities Have a Rusty Tint

According to a June 6, 2012, story by Richard Florida published by The Atlantic Cities, a recent analysis by Lumosity shows that more than half of the 25 smartest cities in the United States are situated in the Rust Belt. In order to calculate the smartest metropolitan areas, the article indicates the following research methodology was utilized:

“…scientists at Lumosity tracked the cognitive performance of more than one million users in the United States on their games, mapping them across U.S. metros using IP geolocation software.

Economic Development, Education, Featured, Good Ideas, The Environment, Urban Poverty »

[1 May 2012 | No Comment | ]
East Lansing Org: Helping the Poor, One Bike at a Time

Founded in 1994, Share-a-Bike is an East Lansing, Michigan-based charity that receives old, unused, discarded, and donated bicycles. Whenever practical, these bicycles are completely refurbished and then donated to the underprivileged in the community, including the homeless, new immigrants, and the poor. Last Saturday, I had the honor to work with them collecting bicycles at a local spring recycling event in the community.
For many of the recipients, the gift of an operable bicycle may be their lifeline of last resort. Either they cannot afford to purchase or maintain an automobile, may …

Architecture, Art, Economic Development, Education, Featured, Public Education »

[18 Jan 2012 | One Comment | ]
Midwestern Universities Wooing Chinese Students

 

Source: lonelyplanet.com

Michigan State University in East Lansing has been a steady leader among public universities in the United States for sending its students abroad for a portion of their academic studies. On the flipside, the university along with seven other Big Ten universities has been the lucky recipients of a growing influx of international students, particularly undergraduates from China in the past five years. According to the Open Doors 2011 report from the Institute of International Education, of the 25 universities in the United States with the largest international student population, …

Brain Drain, Economic Development, Education »

[13 Jun 2011 | No Comment | ]

Look out, Silicon Valley.
Read the report from Brookings here, which notes the success Rust Belt cities have had in attracting skilled immigrants.
The report notes:
“Perhaps most notable is the very high concentration of high-skilled immigrants in older industrial metro areas in the Midwest and Northeast such as Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Syracuse. Detroit, for instance, has 144 high-skilled immigrants for every 100 low-skilled immigrants. Immigrants in these metropolitan areas tilt toward high-skill because they blend earlier arriving cohorts who have had time to complete higher education with newcomers …