Tag Archives: Ohio

(995) Ohio beyond the DNC

OhioAmerica’s two great political gatherings present a distressing mixture of aesthetics seemingly lifted from rodeo clowns and science fiction conventions layered over something slick and carefully managed.  If you think that generates dissonance, join the rest of us at the bar.  Suitably reinforced, we might go along, like Guardian correspondent Chris Arnade, to a pair of Ohio communities around the corner from the Democratic National Convention.  Parma is a former manufacturing town and Center is defined by its housing projects.

What do Donald Trump voters really crave? Respect. They want respect because they haven’t just lost economically, but also socially. But it’s dangerous territory: anger tainted with revenge and, sometimes, racism

(976) Lunch data indicating child poverty in Cincinnati, OH

cincilunch
From our unscientific standpoint scanning the Internet  for items on suburban poverty, it looks as if US headlines like this one have tailed off a little.  That doesn’t mean the reality is any better, though.  Well into a federal election poverty is taking a distant backseat to such nonsense as Donald “Crazy Man” Trump’s proposal for a wall on the Mexican-US border or Hillary “It’s My Turn” Clinton’s email server impropriety.

This is a crisis: suburban poverty growing, school lunch data shows
cincinnati.com

(278) ULI case studies

Belks1Last year the Urban Land Institute produced a document with a half dozen case studies of communities doing sprawl repair, adding transit infrastructure, and undertaking suburban retrofits.  It’s nice to see these projects because it seems logical that a better designed community offers its residents some insurance against difficulty compared to poorly thought out, low density, car-dependent ones, the kind that are everywhere.  These projects and their various components represent at least a good attempt at adapting the lived-in North American landscape to an emergent future which doesn’t really support the things that made suburbia possible any more, namely E-Z money and cheap energy.

Our relatively limited experience of these refitted places is that they rely too much on retail and ironically, cars.  What will happen to the major continental chains like Starbucks or The Gap as we move forward is not fully clear.  They and their global supply chains may contract along with everything else.  A coffee bar an upstairs tenant can walk to doesn’t mean much if the windows are boarded up.  One of our interns was in Toronto’s Liberty Village this weekend.  Liberty Village is not so much a refitted suburb as a refitted industrial area but it models many of the same attributes as ULI’s case studies.  “Don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many luxury SUVs, Minis, Japanese sports cars, German sedans in one place, ever,” said our intern.  The very success and enjoyability of the area’s renovated buildings, its retail opportunities and so forth attracts loads of people, many of whom arrive by car even though there’s multiple possibilities for arrival by public transit.

Shifting Suburbs: reinventing infrastructure for compact development
uli.org 56 page .pdf file

ULI Infrastructure Initiative

image: dead shopping mall by Augustawiki via Wikimedia Commons

(270) Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio has taken its share of hits in the Great Recession.  One of the strategies businesses there have been taking to is moving lower paying jobs to the suburbs.  There’s more flexibility out there for leasing property, parking is cheap or free and the payroll taxes can be lower.  More prestigious, higher-paying jobs are staying downtown.

Downtown loses jobs, suburbs gaining. Recession amplified national trend: It’s often cheaper, more practical to move lower-paying jobs to the burbs
cincinnati.com

image: Rdikeman via Wikimedia Commons