The New York Times today published my latest piece on places that are doing many of the right things to prosper and thrive in the 21st century. In this case it’s the collaboration between city officials, developers, institutions, universities, foundations, and bankers in Cleveland to produce the new Uptown District along Euclid Avenue.
In the last couple of months I’ve reported on how Toledo is recruiting Chinese investment capital to redevelop its Maumee River waterfront. And how Owensboro, Kentucky found the nerve to enact an $80 million tax increase to rebuild its downtown.
Cleveland, too, is finding ways to rebuild itself around successful clusters in health care, higher education, fresh food, transit, and entertainment. The daily newspaper last summer reported that $5 billion in new development is under construction or close to getting under way.
Public investment in each of these cities is attracting significant private investment and new jobs. The University Circle area of Cleveland has generated 5,000 new jobs in the last five years.
For those in Congress and state legislatures fixed to the idea that austerity and disinvestment produces new wealth, the lessons produced by these cities and many others provides valuable evidence of the foolishness of that approach.
— Keith Schneider