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NYT: Cleveland Turns Uptown into New Downtown

Author: Keith Shneider
November 29, 2011

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Keith Shneider explains how investment in physical infrastructure and street appearances can lure in new residents and fuel job growth.

CLEVELAND — Since 1950, when its population peaked at 914,808, Cleveland has steadily shed residents and jobs. In 2010, just 396,815 people lived within the city limits, almost 81,000 fewer than a decade before, and about the same number of people who lived in Cleveland in 1900.

The sequence of events is sadly familiar: the disappearance of labor-intensive industry that paid a living wage, followed by entrenched poverty and the social disruption that it brings.

But in recent years Cleveland's municipal government and its Regional Transit Authority have rallied major employers, banks, foundations and developers around a central goal of rebuilding the city's core according to the new urban market trends of the 21st century — health care, higher education, entertainment, good food, new housing and expanded mass transportation.

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