Op-Ed: It's Time to Rethink Cleveland's Strategy of Managed Decline

Cleveland is a thought leader in bulldozing houses, according to a recent op-ed on Cleveland.com, but it's time to imagine a new paradigm.

Read Time: 1 minute

September 14, 2016, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Tim Hutchison / Shutterstock

Richey Piiparinen, director of the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University, writes of the danger in resigning a city—in this case Cleveland—to perpetual shrinkage and demolition.

To set the stage, Piiparinen quotes sociologist Emile Durkheim: "One cannot long remain so absorbed in contemplation of emptiness without being increasingly attracted to it."

"This was the case in Cleveland," writes Piiparinen to bring the point home. "We got so numb to losing that even our solutions were drivers toward loss."

Just as LeBron James overcame the city's history of loss by winning the city's first championship in a major American sport since 1964, so too must the city take a new approach to economic and community development, according to Piiparinen.

Now, considering the affordable housing crisis in America, it's not far-fetched to suppose housing can be a comparative advantage for Cleveland. Yet it's no longer affordable when it's gone. Capitalizing on potential advantages, then, requires believing there exists potentiality. In Cleveland, the existence wavered.

Sunday, September 11, 2016 in Cleveland.com

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Sharrow bike markings on black asphalt two-lane road with snowy trees

Early Sharrow Booster: ‘I Was Wrong’

The lane marking was meant to raise awareness and instill shared respect among drivers and cyclists. But their inefficiency has led supporters to denounce sharrows, pushing instead for more robust bike infrastructure that truly protects riders.

January 26, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

View of stone-paved street with pedestrians and "Farmers Market" neon sign on left and old buildings on right in Seattle, Washington

Push and Pull: The Link Between Walkability and Affordability

The increased demand for walkable urban spaces could make them more and more exclusionary if cities don’t pursue policies to limit displacement and boost affordability.

January 27, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Aerial view of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin at sunset

Milwaukee County Makes Substantial Progress on Homelessness

In 2022, the county’s point-in-time count of unhoused people reflected just 18 individuals, the lowest per-capita in the country.

25 minutes ago - Urban Milwaukee

Crosswalk with pedestrians in front of four-story red brick buildings in New Haven, Connecticut

Opinion: Connecticut Vision Zero Bill A Step in the Right Direction

The proposed legislation could energize efforts to eliminate fatal crashes and fix the structural flaws that make roads inherently more dangerous.

1 hour ago - CT News Junkie

View of Tacoma, Washington with Mount Rainier in background

Tacoma Developing New Housing Policy

The city’s Home in Tacoma plan is designed to address the region’s growth and rising housing prices, but faces local backlash over density and affordability concerns.

February 2 - The Urbanist