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[30 May 2014 | No Comment | ]
SB 310 — an Unprecedented Step Backwards for Ohio

On Wednesday, the Ohio Legislature approved a bill to freeze and dismantle the state’s clean energy provisions, making Ohio the first state to roll back its energy conservation and renewable energy standards. A vote on the House floor took place Wednesday, May 28; two weeks after the Ohio Senate passed the corporate polluter giveaways, known as Senate Bill 310. Governor Kasich has indicated that he will sign the legislation on Thursday, May 29.

Politics »

[29 May 2014 | No Comment | ]

There are 6 steps:
#1. Powerful individuals decide on a concept for a big project behind closed doors.
#2. They line up the support of a handful of “community representatives” whose support they need. Heretofore, these folks will do all the work of promoting the project.
#3. A “study” is completed, paid for by the powerful people whose idea it was. The study, everyone understands, is to be a marketing tool, not an actual investigation of the project’s merits. No alternative concepts will receive formal study.  The “study” will claim the powerful people’s …

Economic Development, Education, Featured, Headline, Labor, Politics, Public Education, Sprawl, Urban Planning »

[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 …

Politics »

[15 Oct 2013 | No Comment | ]

#1. This is such an important story. I just want to say a couple things. First of all, Christ, what these women and families are going through.
#2. How great is that woman in Hough?
#3. I also thought the city of Cleveland’s response was frustrating and typical: defensiveness. They should have just said, we know we have a big problem, it is a systemic problem that we have limited ability to control. I sorta get why Cleveland is defensive. When something like this comes to light, they’re immediately sort of blamed, …

Architecture, Art, Economic Development, Editorial, Featured, Good Ideas, Politics, Public Transportation, Urban Planning »

[8 Oct 2013 | No Comment | ]
Ten Lessons from European Industrial Cities

I have had the distinct privilege and honor of visiting the great cities of Dublin, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; and Manchester, England in the past four years. All three of these industrial revolution-era urban centers can provide America’s Rust Belt will valuable insights about overcoming past malaise and degradation to chart a new economic paradigm. Here are ten lesson I have learned from visiting them and observing what makes all three so vibrant:

Politics, Public Transportation »

[13 Sep 2013 | No Comment | ]

What’s sadder guys? The fact that the powers that be in Michigan think widening I-94 and I-75 will help their economy, or the above Youtube video? Tough call, I think.
Michigan expat Erica Flock is allowing us to publish this letter she wrote to Rob Morosi at the Michigan Department of Transportation regarding the Detroit region’s plans to spend close to four billion widening two highways.
 
Dear Mr. Morosi,
Last month during a visit to my family in Michigan, I stood on RiverWalk overlooking the Detroit River. I don’t recall ever …

Architecture, Crime, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Politics, Public Transportation, Race Relations, Real Estate, Sports, Sprawl, The Media, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »

[5 Aug 2013 | No Comment | ]
Shared Responsibility for Detroit’s Woes

As a Michigander for the past 21 years, I’ve heard my share of Detroit criticisms, jokes, and put downs, both from within and outside the Great Lakes State. While fingers can be  pointed at the lack of past civic and political leadership in Detroit, our collective actions (or lack thereof) can certainly share in the responsibility. Some may scoff at such a notion, but here’re a few reasons why:

As a nation we elected leaders who adopted a tax code and laws that advocated, promoted, and accelerated flight from cities and …

Politics »

[2 Jul 2013 | No Comment | ]

The stated purpose, by project proponents, for Cleveland’s “Opportunity Corridor,” a $350 million highway project, is to spur development on 1,000 underused acres.
That amounts a development subsidy of $350,000 per acre. Is that a good deal for taxpayers? $350k per acre. I’m skeptical, seeing as how the current value of the land could not be any higher than $100k per acre.
The city of Cleveland’s attitude though is, “it’s not our money.” So I guess the fact that it’s your money and my money and not the …

Featured, Politics, Real Estate »

[4 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]
Cleveland’s “Opportunity Corridor” Fiasco in Memes

Cleveland is preparing to build a $350 million highway through some of its poorest neighborhoods. This pet project of some of the region’s elites has been cynically named “the Opportunity Corridor.” Local writer Mansfield Frazier helpfully explains the “opportunity” part: it gives “white folks an opportunity to drive to the Cleveland Clinic without seeing any black folks.”
This project stinks. At more than $100 million per mile, it’s an extravagant highway project in a state that’s out of money. It’s going to result in the destruction of 90 homes and more …

Book Review, Brain Drain, Economic Development, Featured, Great Lakes, Headline, Labor, Politics, Race Relations, The Environment, U.S. Auto Industry, Urban Planning, Urban Poverty »

[3 Jun 2013 | No Comment | ]
A literary triumph – “Nothing But Blue Skies” by Edward McClelland

It is difficult to describe how truly outstanding the book entitled Nothing But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland is to read. As a nearly lifelong Rust Belt resident, I can attest to the fact that Edward McClelland’s newly released book simply nails our industrial heritage, decline, and hopeful potential squarely on the head. From nationally known politicians like Dennis Kucinich or Coleman Young to the everyday blue-collar laborer toiling in our mills and factories, Mr. McClelland personifies the Rust Belt like no other book I have ever read on the subject. As a Lansing native, he has personally witnessed the dramatic (and sometimes catastrophic) changes just in his lifetime. In Nothing But Blue Skies, Mr. McClelland takes the reader on a quasi-chronological step-by-step sequence of events that shook the Rust Belt down it its very core.