Tag Archives: Milwaukee

A Longer, Deeper Recession for Rust Belt Cities


As this story points out, it seems like cities in our region suffer more in a recession.

This story focuses on Milwaukee, but I know the same thing seemed to be true when I worked in Lorain, and Toledo.

Sadly, it seems like gains that take a long time to build up can be wiped away so quickly.


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Filed under Economic Development, Featured

GLUE Conference Day 2: Our trip to the Menomonee Valley

On Friday, myself and a number of other GLUE conference go-ers were able to tour the Menomonee Valley, a redeveloped former brownfield in Milwaukee.


This area was formerly home to heavy industry and manufacturing, such as stockyards and railroads. The site is now touts itself as a national model in economic and environmental sustainability.

Laura Bray, Executive Director of Menomonee Valley Partners gave us a tour of the site, highlighting its sustainable design, public park and bike trails, the Harley Davidson Museum, Miller Park, a Native American casino, and a number of businesses, including some manufacturing.

She emphasized the area’s land use planning, how it uses wetlands to treat storm water, use of native Wisconsin species, university partnerships and more.

There’s also some public art, and best of all… more than 4,000 jobs.


There’s still more work to be done though, such as connecting the adjoining Silver City neighborhood with the site to help people access the valley and its jobs and recreation.

We also drove through the Silver City area, SoHi (South of Highland) neighborhood, and past Marquette University. Thanks to Ms. Bray for our wonderful tour.

(I appologize for the lateness of this post. I am still recovering from the conference!)


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Our trip to Milwaukee: GLUE Conference, Day 1

We’re here in beautiful Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the GLUE (Great Lakes Urban Exchange Conference).

We took a few hours to explore the city:

Along the Riverwalk:



Stunning historic architecture:

p1010597The Milwaukee Public Market and the Historic Third Ward area:



We capped off the evening with a great meal at the Sprecher Brewery!


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Stimulating Cities: $$$

Hard figures beginning to shake out of the President’s stimulus bill. What does this mean for Rust Belt cities? Money. Lots of money.

More than $417 million is being sent to Ohio by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

$475 million has been earmarked for Great Lakes clean-up, 10-times larger than any previous award.

$23 million will be delivered to the Gary, Ind. area.

Milwaukee is getting $22.6 million.

The Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority will receive $35 million.

The Erie Housing Authority: $4.6 million.

Minneapolis is getting $20 million for light rail, plus a great big list of other projects.

This will be an exciting opportunity for many cities whose budgets have traditionally limited plans for infrastructure projects and community development. I’m interested to see how it is all put to use.




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Welcome To Rust Wire

This site is intended to consolidate and develop news and information about post-industrial Great Lakes cities. It was developed by two former newspaper reporters with ties to Cleveland, Toledo and Youngstown, Ohio and Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We’ve noted that there is a lot of good information about Rust Belt issues coming from blogs and the mainstream media. We hope to sort out the good stuff and summarize it for problem solvers and concerned citizens from Buffalo to St. Louis.

We also intend to develop some original stories and photography. Any writers, videographers or photographers that are willing to contribute please contact us at rustbeltnews@gmail.com. Also, if there’s any thing we’ve overlooked, or any exciting initiatives that might be worth featuring, please let us know.



Angie Schmitt & Kate Giammarise

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