Articles in the Headline Category
Headline, Real Estate »
There are few pieces tackling the subject of abandonment in the Rust Belt that are more personal than D. Jones’s film, 631. In less than ten minutes, we get the story of the life and death of a house in Youngstown. More importantly, 631 accomplishes the rarest of things; it gives us the back-story for what would be just one more forgotten derelict home.
Old film footage and stills convey the central importance of this house in the lives of Derrick’s grandparents, mother, and himself. Joyce Jenkins, Derrick’s mother, doesmuch of the narration. The house came to her as a young mother and she was forced to leave it as a middle-aged woman.
Brain Drain, Economic Development, Education, Headline »
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.
Headline, Politics, Public Transportation »
For a while it didn’t seem certain, but after a critical vote earlier this month, it looks like California’s on track to build high-speed rail. And, I’ll be the first to admit, California — with two large, global metros just a few hundred miles apart — is a great place for it.
Despite some reservations about the costs and feasibility of the plan, people all over the country who care about sustainable transportation were generally happy to see America moving forward. But in Wisconsin and Ohio and Florida, the news was bittersweet. James Rowen at Milwaukee-based blog the Political Environment again mourned the $810 million in federal passenger rail invested spurned by Governor Scott Walker. (Shortly after Walker’s decision, the LA Times gleefully wrote, “Thanks a billion, cheeseheads.”)
Headline, Urban Planning »
The city not only legislates to promote sprawl style land use patterns, it also rewards sprawl based development with a generous gift from the tax payers. In my last few posts dealing with the current city zoning code here, here, and here, I showed how some of Buffalo’s most beloved buildings and neighborhoods can not be replicated today because of an absurd outdated law – the Buffalo zoning code.
I also recently wrote here about how much less property tax is collected from sprawl based property when compared to equivalent densely built property. This massive government subsidy of sprawl in the form of drastically lower taxes is true in Buffalo as well.
Brain Drain, Headline »
This post was written by Rob Pitingolo and originally appeared on his awesome blog Extraordinary Observations.
Last weekend Angie Schmitt pointed me to an article by Douglas Trattner in Fresh Water Cleveland. The author suggests Rust Belt cities, left for dead, are suddenly booming again. Angie was suspicious of some of the claims and I offered to check it out. Let’s start with the article…
Daily, it seems, another cultural sociologist is writing about the current trend of reverse migration — young creatives fleeing the Coasts in droves in favor of “decaying” industrial cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit. These cities, you see, are appealing because of the decay. That and ironic pleasures like bowling, pierogies, and polka.
Brain Drain, Economic Development, Education, Headline, Public Education, The Media, Urban Planning »
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.
Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove made a big show a few years ago about how serious his hospital is about preventative health by saying he would refuse to hire smokers. Then, he went further and said he’d really prefer not to hire fat people either.
A lot of people were, rightly, offended. But you had to admire Cosgrove’s chutzpah. It would be nice to see the healthcare industry take a bigger role in helping prevent some of the lifestyle choices that have contributed to expensive epidemics of bad health in America.
The Obama Administration’s Sustainable Communities Initiative was tailor made for communities like greater Cleveland. Northeast Ohio has been sprawling for decades without adding any population, emptying out the notoriously troubled central city while the regional economy consistently under-performs.
During the last decade the city of Cleveland lost 17 percent of its population. Inner-ring suburbs didn’t fare much better, shedding five to eight percent. Meanwhile, exurban Avon — a tax haven built on cleared forests and farmland 25 miles distant from the center city — grew 85 percent. Northeast Ohio had never undertaken a formal regional planning effort to address the rapid abandonment of its urban areas for unplanned, exurban development.
This is a personal theory so take it for what it is. Want to know if a city is cool? By cool, I mean young, edgy, colorful (I’m making myself sound like an old person here and not a cool person), but here goes. The telltale sign is street art, or rather the term used to describe it.
So today, Cleveland City Council comes across my Twitter feed saying “want to stop graffiti in your neighborhood?” And there you go, unequivocal proof that Cleveland is uncool.
Economic Development, Headline »
Cleveland is seeing stars over the opening of its Downtown Casino. Word is Sinbad came by. So last Friday I went to check it out. I didn’t gamble, had a few Bud Light drafts. But I observed. Here is what stuck out.
A lot of gaudy decorations: chandeliers, gold blinds, patterned carpeting that would make you dizzy if you let it suck you in. The Casino was placed in Cleveland’s historic Higbee Building. This history is covered up with faceless textiles and décor designed in a soulless spirit that would make even Liberace mope.