Cleveland Caught Between Dreams of Revival and Reality of its Woes

Are the grand plans for reviving Cleveland put forth by city leaders - and hyped by the architecture critic at the city's main newspaper - fantasies masking the city's elemental problems or goals worth pursuing?

In the coverage of Cleveland's current state, Michael D. Roberts and his journalistic colleagues see "a tale of two cities: the perception of a downtown revival contrasted with the reality of enormous job and population loss and the abandonment of neighborhoods."

"No one creates the perception of revival more than Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer's architecture critic, who writes frequently and voluminously of plans to advance the city," claims Roberts. "Litt has become the keeper of the civic flame, a voice that holds out the promise of prosperity and metropolitan glory. But when Litt extols the virtues of ambitious new development plans, he sews a promise of renaissance that's more fantasy than fact."

"While Litt likes to hold out the promise of abstract plans, the weight of reality hangs over the town, a reality Cleveland elites never seem to grasp. Ever since they built our freeways, a highly effective series of escape and evasion routes from the town's core, city planning has become uncoordinated, with little long-range vision. That leads each generation to reinvent the city, shunning symmetry and common sense."

Full Story: Fantasy Town

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00