Articles in the Headline 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.
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.
Youngstown, Ohio is often presented in photography as a desolate place filled with decaying buildings—a post-apocalyptic landscape presumably bereft of humans. Recently, the Brookings Institution listed Youngstown as having the highest concentrated poverty rate of any city in the country. There are over 5,000 vacant properties in the city, and Youngstown has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the U.S.
I was born in Youngstown, but I have spent most of my life outside of the city. Three years ago I returned to find my hometown in a state of severe depression. I responded by using my camera to document the blight and decay I saw all around me, in an attempt to understand what had happened here.
This voter guide from @joelfrominwood in Cleveland and Vote Mob Ohio (facebook.com/VoteMobOh) is dedicated to the hipsters, haters, and hipster-haters at Loop Cafe, the lovers at Lucky’s Cafe, the progressive mega-chillers hanging at Visible Voice book store down the block, the nerds, the freaks and the geeks at Prosperity Karaoke Night, the working folks at the Steel Mill, the pierogies at Sokolowski’s, the kids playing in Lincoln Park, the teachers at Tremont Montessori, and to my housemates at the best house in the world, 2225 W 11th.
In what may be a first for the nation, Michigan Governor Snyder recently signed legislation establishing a “Dark-Sky Coast” on 21,000 acres of State-owned land in Emmet County, located north of Petoskey and west of Mackinaw City. An aerial photograph of the newly designated Dark-Sky Coast is shown.
Combined with the existing Headlands International Dark-Sky Park, it is hoped the two sites will increase tourism while also literally displaying the numerous benefits of protecting the night sky from sources of light pollution, particularly sky glow or the urban halo effect created by communities which do not require downshielded lighting and shut-off fixtures.
In central Detroit, on the site of a former railroad, there’s a place just for bikes and pedestrians. In many ways, the Dequindre Cut is a cyclist’s (or a jogger’s) dream: a separated, below-grade bike path that at no point intersects with car traffic. It’s wide enough for a two-way cycle track plus a path for pedestrians off to the side, so bicyclists and joggers don’t have to compete for space. It goes right through the heart of the city, serving as a passage between two of Detroit’s biggest attractions — the Riverfront and the Eastern Market.
To All City Leaders, Urbanists, Activists, Citizens, and “Would-Be” Energizers of Places,
A couple of the interesting things that I get to do in my role as CEO of the Michigan Municipal League is to travel to interesting places and meet some extraordinary people. Just in the past month or so I have had the pleasure of spending time neighborhoods throughout Detroit, St. Louis’ Delmar Loop, Sixth Street in Austin, Downtown Traverse City, and Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.
Architecture, Economic Development, Headline, Public Transportation, Sprawl, The Environment, Urban Planning »
The last few times I have visited my home state of Indiana, I have noticed a number of new hospitals recently opened or being constructed along the I-69 corridor in the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne regions. Along I-69 north of I-465 in Indianapolis, it seems like new hospitals are rising from the cornfields at each interchange. IU Saxony Hospital, Community Hospital, and St. Vincent Hospital have all recently migrated to this corridor between Indianapolis and Anderson. The map below does not even include the pre-existing Riverview Hospital in Noblesville (just above the top of the map) or the two existing hospitals in Anderson (Community and Saint John’s) located about 10 miles to the east.
Economic Development, Good Ideas, Headline, Real Estate »
This video explains the construction of Climb So Ill, a rock climbing gym constructed in the city of St. Louis in a formerly abandoned industrial building.
The guy who sent me this, Adam Koberna of Walltopia, said his company is looking to build gyms like this throughout the industrial Midwest.
I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how Cleveland’s large philanthropic and nonprofit sector impacts the city. A lot of my friends work in this secor. In fact, in Cleveland it’s sort of hard to escape. Like anything, in some ways it’s good, but in some ways it’s bad.
I just returned from a trip to Chicago. Of course, my favorite part was a bookstore. This bookstore was in the hipster neighborhood, again of course, and it was filled with interesting stuff, books and zines on contemporary art, revolutionaries, sex, fiction. There’s really just nothing like it in Cleveland, and I don’t mean that to knock our bookstores, they have to be general, less niche, because the city is smaller of course. But that’s what I love most about big progressive cities. All those cutting edge ideas, people experimenting. It made me depressed about Cleveland.