Take That, Forbes Lists

Rust Wire readers know this blog frequently rants about how Forbes magazine mischaracterizes our cities with its silly and bogus lists – America’s Downsized Cities, Hardest Places to Get By, Dying Cities, and even Best Place for Singles.

(Somehow, Cleveland is ranked as a “dying city,” and a “most miserable city,” yet it is also one of the best places for singles, according to the magazine. Go figure.)

Well, I’m glad to see the folks in Dayton, Ohio, are doing more than just ranting. Upset with their inclusion on the “Dying Cities” list, they organized a symposium to prove the list wrong, as this blog previously reported.

The event is this coming weekend, and as the Dayton Daily News reports, the author of this article will be in town “to face his critics.”

The story adds, “Joshua Zumbrun, a Washington correspondent for Forbes, said he has written many stories based on statistical data, but none has gleaned the level of response of “American’s Fastest Dying Cities” published Aug. 5, 2008.

“I didn’t realize how much a fire it would light,” Zumbrun said.”

In addition to Dayton, other stories on the list were Canton, Cleveland, and Youngstown, Ohio, Buffalo, N.Y.; Charleston, W.Va.; Detroit and Flint, Mich.; Scranton Pa.; and Springfield, Mass.

“It was never my intention to kick people while they were down,” said Zumbrun, noting that he hails from Fort Wayne, Ind., and that he has visited nine of the 10 cities on the list.

“I want to emphasize that there is good and bad in any economy, job gains, job losses,” he said.

Reaction to the article in Dayton began with anger and disappointment, then grew into a grassroots movement to challenge it,” the Dayton Daily News reports.

To register for the event, go to tenlivingcities.org

I’d love to know if any of our readers are going to the event, and if so to hear their impressions….


Filed under Good Ideas, regionalism

9 responses to “Take That, Forbes Lists

  1. Mayor Williams and myself will be attending as representatives and presenters on behalf of the City of Youngstown.

    Our presentation will include: the national recognized Youngstown 2010 plan/concept, Youngstown Business Incubator/Turning Tech (fastest growing software company in US/Entrepreneur Mag. Top 10 Cities to Start a Business), discussion of success of city-wide professional community organizing and national best practice community development programming being developed, and the influx of younger civic and political leadership that is helping to facilitate the change.

    We will also include a few video pieces: One is a trailer for an upcoming documentary about Youngstown which will be released this fall (click below for website & trailer):


    The other is US Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) recent Senate floor speech touting the exponential successes emerging from Youngstown, OH.

    If any Rust Wire.com readers will be attending and would like to get together, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thanks.

    Phil Kidd
    (330) 519-8712

  2. Good post. I’d like to know, too, who else will be there. I know I am headed home to Canton this weekend, for Hall of Fame festivities. Big thanks to Josh for heading to Dayton.


    Carl Lavin
    Managing Editor

  3. Pingback: GLUEspace » Blog Archive » Rust Wire News Round-up

  4. I attended the conference along with three other members of the DeWitt Creativity Group, a group of teachers, parents, and students in DeWitt, Michigan. The presentations by the guest speakers were very inspiring. We were able to make some really good contacts that may help the DCG share ideas and experiences with other high school groups engaging in community development initiatives. Several of the conference attendees commented on my DCG t-shirt. The front of the shirt has an outline of the state of Michigan with a lightening bolt hitting a star in the center of the state (DeWitt is just north of Lansing). Printed on the back is the following phrase: INNOVATE OR PERISH! A number of people thought it was a great message for high school students to wear. Thanks to Peter Benkendorf and others for organizing and hosting such a great event!


    Josh Zumbrun, the writer of the FORBES article, did catch a bit of heat for the article; however, he handled himself in a thoughtful and understanding manner.

  5. Special K

    Glad to hear the event went well.

  6. Special K

    Here’s what The Wall Street Journal had to say:


  7. Interesting to see Buffalo on the list. They have done what few cities have done (certainly not mine) and put together a public/private partnership to restore the Darwin Martin House. FLW is a great draw in any town and has given the city great press.

    I follow two Buffalo garden blogs and they note the city has the largest free, public garden walk/tour in the nation with over 300 gardens involved. Major mags were in town to cover it at the end of July.

    See Jim Charlier’s blog for many recent related posts: http://artofgardeningbuffalo.blogspot.com/

  8. Pingback: Forbes: Mayor as CEO | Rust Wire

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