Articles in the Featured Category
On January 15th, I had the privilege of seeing Italian ethnographer, and Rust-Belt lover, Allessandro Coppola, speak at Cleveland State University as part of the Levin College of Urban Affairs Public Forum program.
Dr. Coppola was revealing his findings from his most recent work, ‘Apocalypse Town: Tales from the End of Urban Civilization’, a title he fiercely detested but, in the end, was forced to accept. His book, yet to be translated from Italian to English, tells the story that readers of this blog are familiar with; shrinking cities wrought by de-industrialization, failed urban renewal programs, and governmental policies that favor sprawl over a robust urban core.
Featured, Good Ideas »
Hello, Rustifarians! We at Rust Wire have an assignment for you, should you choose to accept it.
We’d like to put together a series of travel guides to Rust Belt cities, written by those that know them best: you guys!
We’re looking for something vaguely along these lines: your favorite local spots, with a little bit of your personality thrown in. Be creative! Tell us what are the best spots in Buffalo, in Detroit, in Pittsburgh. Where do that locals — the hip, avant guarde blog reading locals — hang. Email your …
When I was about 24, I moved to Youngstown, Ohio to take a job as a newspaper reporter. It was, I now realize, a crazy thing to do.
I didn’t plan to stay in the city long. But my dad was pretty upset when I told him about it. His company had an experience there in the ’90s where one of the construction foremen was run off the road by someone who was upset about something–I’m guessing they had problems with a local labor union. After that, his company wouldn’t do business there anymore.
I had heard about the mafia in Youngstown, but they had sort of been flushed out by the Feds. Anyway, I thought that stuff would be interesting, reporting-wise. But my dad said something that I only know understand the wisdom of: corruption like that, he said, long-term corruption, becomes a part of the local culture.
Featured, Race Relations, Real Estate »
My friend, Youngstown celebrity Phil Kidd, told me a hahafunny recently. After consistently being ranked as one of the poorest cities in the country, Youngstown has recently seen a small reversal of fortunes in its downtown. A handful of new bars, some housing development, and viola — old-school Youngstowners are now complaining about “gentrification.”
I have a message for these people: Stop it!
Book Review, Featured, Public Transportation, Sprawl »
What makes a city great? According to Jeff Speck, the secret sauce is, quite simply, walking. If your city is a good place to walk — that is, walking is safe, comfortable, interesting, and useful — everything else will fall into place.
In Walkable City, his talked-about manifesto about healthy urban places, Speck lays out a simple formula for any city to become a pedestrian haven. “Putting cars in their place,” “mixing uses,” “getting parking right,” and supporting transit and cycling are a few of the 10 principles, he says, that separate the successful cities from the rest.
These old videos are always interesting. This one, like the one we shared about Buckeye Road in Cleveland, shows a point in the city’s history where cultural conflict threatens a vibrant urban neighborhood. These videos are sad.
This is what Youngstown’s Uptown neighborhood looks like now, more or less.
This whole thing sort of echos what happened to Cleveland’s The Flats in the 1990s.
Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured »
Nothing makes me roll my eyes like a civic campaign aimed at attracting young people.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a worthy cause. It’s just that 90 percent of the time, the way they are executed ranges from cluelessly patronizing to counter productive to outright embarrassing.
In one example that really sticks in my mind the guilty party was Columbus, Ohio. Perhaps eight years ago the city got some kind of grant and they spent $30,000 to have some self-styled “Gen Y” expert come tell them how they could retain and attract young people. All I could think was why didn’t they just — I don’t know — ask they young people that live there what they want and maybe put the $30,000 toward that?
The following list identifies 55 commercial aviation airports in the Rust Belt in order by land area (or footprint). Pittsburgh International is far and away the largest airport in the region and is one of the largest in the United States. The average size among these 55 airports is 2,613 acres, or just approximately 4.1 square miles.
For some of these cities, the small footprint of the local airport presents challenges for future growth and expansion. This problem is particularly acute for Erie, Chicago (Midway), and Harrisburg. Even some of the larger …
There’s a campaign going on right now in Cleveland to preserve the seven-day-a-week print version of the Plain Dealer. It is led by reporters at the paper with support from their union. The paper’s owner, Advance Publications, has hinted that there are big changes coming, and reporters apparently suspect that the company is planning what they did to their New Orleans Times Picayune — which is go to a three-day-a-week print schedule and focus more on the online product. The reporters have good reason to be concerned about their jobs; …
One of my favorite events in Cleveland every year is the Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, parade in the Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood (my neighborhood). This event is hosted by Cleveland Public Theater. Every year, city residents march down Detroit Avenue in Mexican-style macabre costumes.
I caught the tail end of the parade this year and wanted to share.