As public-private partnerships to invest in aged urban infrastructure gain in popularity in Chicago, and across the country, Christopher Weber asks who will fund the improvements unaligned with corporate interests.
Vacancy has left parts of the Midwest shattered, resulting in an insecurity which invokes a diluted "fight or flight" response. Restoring the psychological landscape of cities is a difficult, but essential, first step, says Richey Piiparinen.
The head of a patent law firm that employs 40 in suburban Detroit explains that his growing business may need to leave the state because it can't recruit talent to the region. Andrew Basile Jr. writes that the problem is "poor quality of place."
Urban-boosters in Cleveland and other Rust Belt locales are fierce defenders of their much-maligned cities. But does civic boosterism gloss over the region's very real problems? Worse, does it serve to protect the dysfunctional status quo?