Cleveland Deals With "James Drain"

The Urbanophile explains that although Lebron James was never going to turn around Cleveland alone, his departure is indicative of the city's reliance "on a never-ending cycle of “next big things” to reverse decline."
July 15, 2010, 1pm PDT | George Haugh
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"James' departure also fits the narrative of generalized anxiety around "brain drain" and cities losing their best and brightest of each generation." In reality, Cleveland doesn't have especially high out migration, the gap arises from the lack of people moving in. As local Attorney Richard Herman notes, "New York City and Chicago, like most major cities, see significant out-migration of their existing residents each year. What is atypical is that Cleveland does not enjoy the energy of new people moving in." The Cleveland metro in-migration rate was only 22.19. Miami's was 30.36 and Atlanta's a robust 51.91."

Anthony Bourdain describes how, "troubled cities often tragically misinterpret what's coolest about themselves. They scramble for cure-alls, something that will "attract business", always one convention center, one pedestrian mall or restaurant district away from revival. They miss their biggest, best and probably most marketable asset: their unique and slightly off-center character."

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Published on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 in New Geography
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