East 4th Street in Downtown Clevelend was a haven for drug dealers and prostitutes 20 years ago. Now there is a waiting list for the apartments on the same street. The demographic has shifted noticeably, as younger, college educated residents are flocking to the heart of cities, and rust belt cities are particularly attractive to them because they tend to offer the same entertainment and walkability without the high cost of living faced in many more well established metros.
Richey Piiparinen, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University, describes a trend he's been watching for years: "A lot of young people in Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh whose parents grew up in the inner city, and whose parents left during the white flight movement - they have this attraction to the roots that they never knew."
Jim Russell has also been keeping an eye on this trend with his blog about Rust Belt Refugees. "He confirms that downtown Cleveland is booming." reports Barnett, "He says recent Census migration data for the area has been positive to the tune of 400 to 500 new residents."
Thanks to Jessica Brent