A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘cleveland

[URBAN NOTE] Ten city links: Laval, Calgary, Vancouver, Cleveland, Machu Picchu, London, Görlitz …

  • The Québec city of Laval now has a cemetery where pets can be buried alongside their owners. CBC reports.
  • Talk of Alberta separatism has already cost Calgary at least one high-profile non-oil investment, it seems. Global News reports.
  • A new piece of public art in Vancouver, a spinning chandelier, has proven to be a lightning rod for controversy. CBC reports.
  • Guardian Cities looks at the continuing fight against lead contamination in Cleveland.
  • Machu Picchu was built in a high remote corner of the Andes for good reasons, it is being argued. The National Post reports.
  • Wired looks at how rivals to Uber are currently fighting for dominance in London, here.
  • Guardian Cities shares a cartoon history of the birth of Nairobi, here.
  • The east German city of Gorlitz offered interested people one month’s free residence. The Guardian reports.
  • JSTOR Daily notes that Hong Kong was born as a city from refugee migrations.
  • Is Tokyo, despite tis size and wealth, too detached from Asia to take over from Hong Kong as a regional financial centre? Bloomberg View is not encouraging.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Hamilton, Québec City, Markham, Cleveland, Vancouver

  • CBC Hamilton shares the arguments of local housing advocates that removing rent control will not encourage the construction of more affordable housing.
  • La Presse notes that Québec City is moving towards construction of a tramway system.
  • Christopher Hume writes in the Toronto Star about the new Aaniin Community Centre in Markham, here.
  • CityLab looks at redlining in Cleveland, here.
  • This pair of videos, taken 52 years apart, does a great job of showing the remarkable transformation of the skyline of Vancouver. Global News has it.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Montréal, Cleveland, Osaka and San Francisco, Port City, Sihanoukville

  • CityLab wonders how the new CAQ government of Québec will come into conflict with Valérie Laplante in Montréal, a city that wants mass transit not highways and that voted against the CAQ.
  • CityLab considers what could become of The Mall, the neglected central park of Cleveland.
  • Osaka just cut its ties with San Francisco over that city’s erection of a monument honouring the comfort women of Second World War Japan. VICE reports.
  • This article in Guardian Cities examining the Chinese creation of a virtually new and highly autonomous city, Port City, on Sri Lanka to support China’s aspirations in the Indian Ocean is revealing.
  • Kris Janssens at the Inter Press Service looks at how the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville is being transformed by Chinese investment and trade into a regional metropolis.

[URBAN NOTE] “Anchored in hope: How Toronto is learning from Cleveland’s return to prosperity”

Sara Mojtehedzadeh’s Toronto Star article suggesting that Toronto can prepare for the worst by learning from the example of Cleveland is hopeful. It even has a certain degree of superficial plausibility to it. It’s just that, as she concludes, this does not transform underlying issues significantly, that while hundreds might benefit from Cleveland’s example in specific neighbourhoods tens of thousands would be left untouched. There’s hope here, but it’s thin on the water.

If you’ve ever imagined a worst-case scenario for Toronto, it probably looks something like this: a burst housing bubble, massive job losses, crumbling roads, rapid economic decline and spiralling inequality.

That’s the nightmare that Cleveland has already lived in spectacular style.

The silver lining? It survived, thanks in part to an ambitious undertaking known as the anchor mission, which harnesses the massive spending power of a city’s so-called “anchor” institutions, such as universities and hospitals, to keep business and opportunity closer to home.

Think of it as a live, buy and hire local project on a grand scale.

The strategy has been so successful at reviving the Rust Belt town, now affectionately known as Comeback City, that Toronto is taking notice.

The city has begun a yearlong partnership with leaders at some of Toronto’s largest public employers to explore what an anchor mission might look like in a Canadian context.

“People had all these big dreams,” says Denise Andrea Campbell, director of social policy for the City of Toronto, who is heading up the city’s efforts. “I was very inspired by that.”

Written by Randy McDonald

April 21, 2015 at 12:02 am

[LINK] “Branding Cleveland”

Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money writes at length about the effort of fellow Great Lakes city Cleveland, trapped in an identity crisis since the end of its industrial era, has been trying to rebrand itself by–paradoxically–embracing an idealized past even as interesting things happen at the grass roots. Nostalgia, unsurprisingly, is unhelpful.

Cleveland faces a crisis of leadership and identity that you can see in these rebranding efforts. It wants to recapture its past glory. Cleveland identifies as a working-class white town and wishes it could be that again. It’s hardly alone here. Cities from Detroit to Butte have had a really hard time letting go of their vision of what their city to rethink what their city could be.

Last spring, I read an article about Detroit that I wish I could find. It was a letter to the editor of a Detroit business journal by an out-of-town executive who had recently visited the city. He said in no uncertain terms why his company would never move to Detroit. He wrote that white flight continued to destroy Detroit because that city was so dependent on cars and suburban living that it had not developed any of the 21st century infrastructure that is bringing young people back into cities. You can’t walk anywhere. Public transportation is a disaster. His company’s young workers wouldn’t move to Detroit, not because of its history but because of its present. This executive blamed a lack of leadership in Detroit, telling its politicians it needed to think about the future instead of the past.

I read this article in a link off of a Cleveland blog and the commenters there really agreed with sentiment in regards to Cleveland. Local politicians there want the old industrial jobs back and have a heck of a time thinking beyond that. These commenters really wanted Cleveland to succeed and felt that investments in public transportation especially would make a huge difference.

The thing is though is that Cleveland has some amazing neighborhoods developing without a lot of outside assistance. The Great Lakes Brewery and West Side Market anchor a very small but pretty cool walking neighborhood west of downtown that includes several excellent bars and restaurants, including the superb Bier Markt and the new Market Garden Brewery, owned by the former brewmaster at Dogfish Head. Tremont is another awesome neighborhood, combining cool old homes with excellent bars and restaurants and the Christmas Story house (where you can buy a leg lamp).

I haven’t been to Detroit, but I understand there are also little islands of interesting things happening there. In both places, with little to no municipal leadership, young people are beginning to move in and open businesses. Is this going to replace industrial labor and save the city? No, but these businesses do build off each other. Can the city help? Absolutely, but it takes shifting the political emphasis away from the 20th century and into the 21st.

Go for the post and for the insightful comments.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2012 at 3:01 am