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Cleveland: Population Trends

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Like I said before we need lots (e.g. 10,000) low skill light manufacturing  jobs for these people but our Mayor doesn't get it.  He is going after high Tech  jobs from France for a handful of Chemical Engineers.

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Another small, but significant piece of the puzzle will be to encourage more African Americans to become teachers. I work in teacher education, and can count on one hand the number of African Americans in my classes, and have had exactly one Black man in my classes. I surveyed Black students working as tutors at my university, and nearly all avoided becoming teachers because of the low pay and dislike of working with "bad kids" for the rest of their lives. Can't blame them for that. A Washington Post article today points out some challenges and possibilities to encourage more African Americans to enter the profession...

 

Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence

By Avis Thomas-Lester

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, July 4, 2009

 

Tynita Johnson had attended predominantly black schools in Prince George's County for 10 years when she walked into Will Thomas's AP government class last August and found something she had never seen.

 

"I was kind of shocked," said Tynita, 15, of Upper Marlboro. "I have never had a black male teacher before, except for P.E."

 

Tynita's experience is remarkably common. Only 2 percent of the nation's 4.8 million teachers are black men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, Thomas, a social studies teacher at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School, never had a black teacher himself...

 

 

Continued http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/03/AR2009070302498_pf.html

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"Educators said black male teachers expose students to black men as authority figures, help minority students feel that they belong, motivate black students to achieve, demonstrate positive male-female relationships to black girls and provide African American youths with role models and mentors."

 

Or.....  Their fathers could just stick around and be the positive influence they should be. 

 

"Educators said black male teachers ... help minority students feel that they belong, motivate black students to achieve, demonstrate positive male-female relationships to black girls and provide African American youths with role models and mentors."

 

Interesting it is the responsibility of black male teachers to do this.  Furthermore, "help minority students feel that they belong?"  Inner-city schools are overwhelmingly black, so I do not understand this.  If they are talking about the one or two blacks in Beachwood, I guess I would understand (however I guarantee they have their fathers). 

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This is a good discussion, but is there a more appropriate place for it? It seems to be getting a little tangential to population trends. Sorry, not trying to be an ass ... it actually is some good stuff but might get some more traffic in the Cleveland Public Schools thread or something.

 

Anyone have any thoughts about the fact that the inner ring is now shrinking faster than the city (see previous page for numbers)? This seems like a pretty monumental demographic shift, and I can think of all kinds of implications, some of them good, some of them bad.

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Referring to the 'culture of poverty' and its deterrent to people living in the core or how it relates to schools. I understand about cause and effect factors and trickle down situations that breed other bad situations, but at some point we need to stop blaming unsavory behavior, living/educational conditions on the fact someone or someplace is poor. Maybe we need to tweak our philosophies on this a bit and not always assume poverty has to equal  :shoot:

 

I know this is different, but maybe we can learn from it..... When I was in Italy, some of the poorest neighborhoods were among the most charming, ate the best healthy for the body and mind foods, had the nicest people and were quiet places that actually felt safe, etc. When you have nothing, you have one thing left. Pride. Pride is free, and so apparently people in such a place want to at least take care of what little they have, and not fall 'victim of oppression.'  They value what they have. And not everyone who has been poor in this country or others, resort to the kinds of inappropriate behavior, activity, crimes, etc..etc..that is often blamed on poverty itself.

 

Somehow by saying this, I will likely be accused of being a racist if I even go in this direction, because someone is always ready to prejudge and deal that card, instead of taking the time to find any merit in what I am expressing. The more society can hide behind the crutch of an excuse, the more the standards lower...and the more the standards lower..the less accountability we place on people from all walks of life.

 

Sadly, those actions of so called poverty and despair, are what scare a lot of people away from living in any given place.  It does not mean crimes, etc do not exist in places we don't associate it to be. Those kinds of places are just better at hiding it so such scenarios are less visually dramatic when no one is looking, or media does not cover the fact that there are problems like that in affluent areas. It is always easier to blame everything on where most associate these problems as being obvious. That alone, is why such poorer places need to resist fulfilling these books.

 

Whether the fears people have of the inner city/schools/crime, etc are well founded or not, is not the point. The point is, is that it is the bad image they project of any given neighborhood...or school system. There is no nobility in crime and poverty, yet we so often have a media industry that is very influential...and glamorizes anti-social and bad behavior more than ever before to a whole new level......and sadly, this is too often the role model many parentless homes have...or homes where you have kids raising kids..and kids having kids. It is a horrible cycle.

 

It is time to become educated on what influences result in negative unsocially redeeming value, or behavior in children who will have this as their role model--and then steer youth away from it and to alternative values and activity that will be more fruitful in society, and self rewarding. Leaders of neighborhoods and communities need to take the responsibility to start doing this. It does not take a loads of cash to share fruitful values that can result in someone being the best they can be in society. If the youth is the cornerstone of the future--the foundation, then we cannot rest a future on what is a self destructive crumbling foundation.

 

To make/plant seeds of change, sometimes it really is that simple. Better neighbors, good behavior, can do a world of wonder in helping to stop people from moving any given area only to take the neighborhood vitality with them. Personally, I have had bad neighbors  in what looked to be the nicest places..and nicest in the worst perceived places.

 

That is just how I see it from my life experiences. I do know one thing for certain. Ohio cannot have its metro areas continue to be sprawling into oblivion leaving a wake of decline before every new ring. It is not sustainable, economically, environmentally, or socially. At the end of the day, it will have to come down to people facing inconvenient truths...in that we will have to start building our economy around needs rather than wants...and debunk the chamber driven myth that doing so would mean we compromise our quality of life. We might discover a whole new sense of self worth and fulfillment in the process. See the website The Center For A New American Dream which challenges the mentality that 'more is better.'

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I haven't seen this posted elsewhere, and I'm not sure if this is the best place to post it:

 

Talent Migration has Elevated Cleveland's Younger Work Force to One of Nation's most Educated

 

Demographer Joel Kotkin isn’t normally kind to Cleveland in his pieces for Forbes.com, but this one is a major exception.

 

“In virtually every regional economic or demographic analysis that I conduct for Forbes, Rust Belt metro areas tend to do very poorly,” Kotkin writes. “But there’s a way that they could improve, based in large part on the soaring cost of living in the elite regions of California and the Northeast. And one of the rustiest of them appears to be capitalizing on the opportunity already: that perpetual media punching bag, Cleveland.”

 

...

 

See http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20140605/BLOGS03/140609873/talent-migration-has-elevated-clevelands-younger-work-force-to-one

 

 

Also, here's the originating article from Forbes:  Shaking Off The Rust: Cleveland Workforce Gets Younger And Smarter

 

See http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2014/06/05/shaking-off-the-rust-cleveland-workforce-gets-younger-and-smarter/

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We lost 14 people!

 

According to US Census estimates, the population of the Cleveland MSA (which does not include Akron) went from 2,064,739 (2012) to 2,064,725 (2013)—a loss of 14 people! Providing that the 2010-2013 loss is less than the 2014-2020 gain, we should show GROWTH in the 2020 Census—the first time in, what, two generations?

 

The CSA population went from 3,501,748 (2012) to 3,501,538 (2013) – a loss of a mere 210 people.

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^Good news. The net losses have been getting smaller each year for the past decade. So a turn should be near.

 

BTW, the Cleveland-Akron area last grew in the 90s decade. It grew by 3%.

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A shift is definitely coming. I doubt there will be more than a token gain by 2020, and the City of Cleveland may still lose people...but the region will recover, so long as none of the anchor employers implode. Still needs better job growth to ensure it's a real trend, though. The population will definitely become better younger and better educated, but it's not a sure thing that the population will actually become larger, too.

 

So many factors to consider - I'd love to see Cleveland's population trend get a workup from Nate Silver or another big data guy.

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I'll be moving back and may be bringing a few Floridians haha.

 

Bring 'em back while the weather's warm. It's an easier adjustment to winter when the adjustment takes months -- rather than stepping off a plane getting and smacked in the face by it in the middle of January!


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I'll be moving back and may be bringing a few Floridians haha.

 

Bring 'em back while the weather's warm. It's an easier adjustment to winter when the adjustment takes months -- rather than stepping off a plane getting and smacked in the face by it in the middle of January!

 

Don't talk about Winter! This is my time to forget about it for awhile!!!

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@stPats: Thank you, I can't wait to be back. I'll be starting my second career hopefully and contributing to the urban renaissance in Cleveland.

 

@KJP: I'm actually glad I took off last year lol. I don't think I could have handled it, but my lease is up in February, so unfortunately that'll be the time I come back.

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Ironically, since Lebron became a boomerang, I've heard from a few native Clevelanders in other cities who want to move back to watch Lebron and Manziel play.

 

 


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Not sure where to put this because it does not pertain directly to Ohio trends or statistics - only the Rustbelt (Cleveland and Cincinnati are discussed).  I despise anyone/anything who uses municipal boundaries for any meaningful analysis at a "City" level.  Fascinating work.

 

 

POPULATION AIN’T NOTHING BUT A NUMBER: STANDARDIZING THE SIZE OF THE GREAT AMERICAN CITY

 

Although cities are often judged prima facie, not to mention showered with congressional dollars via census results, based on population figures, perhaps a straight reading of the numbers isn’t a good barometer of the merits or demerits of a place given the wild variances in the geographic size of cities.

 

Cities are arbitrarily constructed entities with culturally loaded boundaries. So what would happen if every city shared the same geographic borders? Would population numbers reflect different realities? Would the perceptions of places change, defining which cities are viewed as declining or prospering?

 

http://beltmag.com/population-aint-nothing-number-standardizing-size-great-american-city/#comment-70047

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Interesting. I've often thought there should be a standardization. When Jacksonville is a bigger city than Boston, something's really wrong with that measuring stick.......

 

all-cities-bar-graph.png


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I thought it was funny even with that one...Cleveland redrawn includes around 1/4 of it being Lake Erie whereas all the others had very little water in the new limits. The idea is correct though. Why should Houston get more federal dollars than say Philley because they are a sprawl city which costs more to run and is a bigger drain on resources? Obviously, that's talking very simply.

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I thought it was funny even with that one...Cleveland redrawn includes around 1/4 of it being Lake Erie whereas all the others had very little water in the new limits. The idea is correct though. Why should Houston get more federal dollars than say Philley because they are a sprawl city which costs more to run and is a bigger drain on resources? Obviously, that's talking very simply.

 

In fairness, for programs doled out directly to municipal governments, the City of Houston should get more $ than the City of Philly in most instances, because Houston really does have more people in it.  The real issue is making sure the other jurisdictions surrounding a place like Philly (and Cleveland, etc.) also get access to the same kinds of federal aid where needed, or identifying mechanisms (county-level eligibility, MPOs) that look past the municipal boundaries to make sure the region gets its fair share for things like transportation $.

 

I love fresh cuts like this beltmag post, but how and whether to standardize really depends on the question you're asking.

 

My favorite fresh look is the weighted population density stuff that the Census Bureau and others have been cranking out in recent years. This post highlights some of this data, which, sadly, shows just how fast Rust Belt metros are de-densifying within their defined areas: http://www.austincontrarian.com/austincontrarian/2012/09/the-50-densest-american-metropolitan-areas-by-weighted-density.html

 

Addendum: and sadly, the typical Houston area resident now lives in a denser neighborhood than the typical Cleveland area resident.

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I thought it was funny even with that one...Cleveland redrawn includes around 1/4 of it being Lake Erie whereas all the others had very little water in the new limits. The idea is correct though. Why should Houston get more federal dollars than say Philley because they are a sprawl city which costs more to run and is a bigger drain on resources? Obviously, that's talking very simply.

 

In fairness, for programs doled out directly to municipal governments, the City of Houston should get more $ than the City of Philly in most instances, because Houston really does have more people in it.  The real issue is making sure the other jurisdictions surrounding a place like Philly (and Cleveland, etc.) also get access to the same kinds of federal aid where needed, or identifying mechanisms (county-level eligibility, MPOs) that look past the municipal boundaries to make sure the region gets its fair share for things like transportation $.

 

I love fresh cuts like this beltmag post, but how and whether to standardize really depends on the question you're asking.

 

My favorite fresh look is the weighted population density stuff that the Census Bureau and others have been cranking out in recent years. This post highlights some of this data, which, sadly, shows just how fast Rust Belt metros are de-densifying within their defined areas: http://www.austincontrarian.com/austincontrarian/2012/09/the-50-densest-american-metropolitan-areas-by-weighted-density.html

 

Addendum: and sadly, the typical Houston area resident now lives in a denser neighborhood than the typical Cleveland area resident.

 

But that last point is still very deceptive. Northfield, Macedonia, etc are not part of the Cleveland metro. Yet, the farm fields of LaGrange, Lodi, and Middlefield much farther away from the urban core are. By that measure, having an empty farm field 40 miles from a city center makes Cleveland less dense, but the continual urban agglomeration down 77 and route 8 adds nothing to the density.

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There are 2 counties. Each are exactly 10 miles by 10 miles wide, which makes a 100 square mile grid.

 

County A has 10 people living in each grid. County B has 999 people living in only one of the grids, the rest are empty. Which county is denser?

 

County A with the sprawled out population is denser than the county where everyone lives next to each other. That's why when looking at density, the boundaries are critical.

 

If you have an area with low density sprawl that extends far from the city center, it will skew that area as denser than an area that has a high density core, small area of low density sprawl, and moderate area of empty lands.

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^Your hypothetical is exactly the problem the weighted density data featured in that blog post I linked to is trying to solve. By this method, County B would show up 999 times denser than County A (assuming each mile square is a census tract).

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^Your hypothetical is exactly the problem the weighted density data featured in that blog post I linked to is trying to solve. By this method, County B would show up 999 times denser than County A (assuming each mile square is a census tract).

 

Yeah, that list is very accurate to me. LA is much, much denser than most people realize and it extends pretty far out from downtown. Santa Monica, for example, is still over 10,000 people per square mile. It's 15 miles out from downtown. Hollywood is pushing 25,000 per square mile. The entire Wilshire corridor is about 20,000 to 40,000 people per square mile with exceptions being Beverly Hills and a few park areas. As an urbanized area, Los Angeles is not nearly as far off from New York and San Francisco as people think. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley actually has a smaller core of density since people have been fighting tooth and nail against it. Los Angeles is proving to be more embracing of density since it's becoming less car dependent. The whole SF versus LA development war comes down to private transit versus public transit. Many workers in San Francisco get to work by private luxury bus. I don't think anyone in LA does, hence all the pushes to rapidly expand public transit. Ditto with New York. Very few New Yorkers take private busses to work. That's part of the reason New York has such a good transit system. People embrace public transit in New York. You need population density for any decent public transit system to be viable.

 

Rust Belt cities are remarkable in the density they have lost. Keep in mind cities like Detroit and Cleveland were at one time pushing 15,000 people per square mile. Toledo and Columbus were pushing 10,000 people per square mile. The density losses have been incredible and heartbreaking...

 

What you have in Rust Belt cities are incredibly-gap-toothed cities. You might have one census tract with still over 10,000 people per square mile, but right next to it there is a mostly-destroyed one with 2,000 people per square mile. It's not contiguous density, which is what is most damning from a pedestrian or transit perspective. Cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles do have large areas of contiguous density.

 

Ohio does not have this. It has maybe a string of preserved neighborhoods in one side of the city with many areas (or even whole sides in the case of Cleveland and Dayton) with destroyed density. It's just really sad considering how dense these Rust Belt cities used to be. Even Pittsburgh, which is a Rust Belt urbanist darling, is very gap-toothed and lacks contiguous density. I think Milwaukee is as close as it gets for a Rust Belt city, but their transit situation? Oh boy, best not to go to Wisconsin if you want to give up the car...

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^Your hypothetical is exactly the problem the weighted density data featured in that blog post I linked to is trying to solve. By this method, County B would show up 999 times denser than County A (assuming each mile square is a census tract).

 

Yeah, that list is very accurate to me. LA is much, much denser than most people realize and it extends pretty far out from downtown. Santa Monica, for example, is still over 10,000 people per square mile. It's 15 miles out from downtown. Hollywood is pushing 25,000 per square mile. The entire Wilshire corridor is about 20,000 to 40,000 people per square mile with exceptions being Beverly Hills and a few park areas. As an urbanized area, Los Angeles is not nearly as far off from New York and San Francisco as people think.

 

Rust Belt cities are remarkable in the density they have lost. Keep in mind cities like Detroit and Cleveland were at one time pushing 15,000 people per square mile. Toledo and Columbus were pushing 10,000 people per square mile. The density losses have been incredible and heartbreaking...

 

What you have in Rust Belt cities are incredibly-gap-toothed cities. You might have one census tract with still over 10,000 people per square mile, but right next to it there is a mostly-destroyed one with 2,000 people per square mile. It's not contiguous density, which is what is most damning from a pedestrian or transit perspective. Cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles do have large areas of contiguous density.

 

Very true about LA.

 

Density is also somewhat visual/psychological. If you are on a street that has houses that front the street but have huge backyards it will look and feel denser than that same street with houses that are at the back of the lots and front lawns are huge.

 

Likewise a street with lots of apartments and homes tightly packed together will look and feel just as dense no matter if there's 1 person occupying each unit or 10.

 

Conversely a suburban development with huge lots but huge family sizes will be denser than if the homes had 1 or two people living in it.

 

Density is a lot based on perception of the built environment. So even as rust belt cities lose population and density, the built environment density still exists.

 

Take for example Tremont, OC, and D/S. To reach the densities that these neighborhoods had 60 years ago, we'd need 2-3x the number of housing units because family size has shrunk considerably. The built environment density of these neighborhoods would look much denser in person to achieve the same density on paper. So in essence, neighborhoods need to be built denser today to achieve the same density of yesteryear.

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Yeah, that list is very accurate to me. LA is much, much denser than most people realize and it extends pretty far out from downtown. Santa Monica, for example, is still over 10,000 people per square mile. It's 15 miles out from downtown. Hollywood is pushing 25,000 per square mile. The entire Wilshire corridor is about 20,000 to 40,000 people per square mile with exceptions being Beverly Hills and a few park areas. As an urbanized area, Los Angeles is not nearly as far off from New York and San Francisco as people think.

 

Yeah, I agree with everything you say, especially about the importance of concentrations of density for high quality transit viability. 

 

Interestingly, there was a recent mini trend of folks pointing out that the LA area is actually denser than the NYC metro area (example: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/apr/09/population-density-think-la-not-new-york/), which is true in a literal sense of overall people/land area, but mostly meaningless, because it ignores the distribution of the population within the metro area (to WestBLVD's point). The weighted measure shows that the the typical NYC area resident still lives at almost three times the neighborhood density of the typical LA resident, despite the low density of NYC's sprawl.

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Density in rust belt cities will never reach the same as its peak as long as the housing stock remains the same. This is a good thing. Rust Belt cities were not built for the high density of the East Coast. During Cleveland's peak it was extremely overcrowded. Terrible living conditions. In many cases, these neighborhoods have now right-sized. Many others have completely emptied out. The only true way for rust belt cities to increase density is by new construction.

 

For example, Coventry Village was built for density, and although the population has declined compared to its peak, the area remains with a much higher density than your typical City of Cleveland neighborhood. That Cleveland neighborhood was built for medium-low density but got extremely overcrowded and got as dense/or even more dense than Coventry Village is today. Those neighborhoods have now right-sized and pretty much have the population those structures were built to handle. Some have also emptied out as well, which is a completely different story. Neighborhoods like Tremont will never reach its density peak again unless much higher density development takes place. If single family homes continue to dominate, you will get a healthy neighborhood with a density that matches what it is today.

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Take for example Tremont, OC, and D/S. To reach the densities that these neighborhoods had 60 years ago, we'd need 2-3x the number of housing units because family size has shrunk considerably. The built environment density of these neighborhoods would look much denser in person to achieve the same density on paper. So in essence, neighborhoods need to be built denser today to achieve the same density of yesteryear.

 

Or you get roommates. Many buildings built as 2-bds in San Francisco house four people (closets and living rooms turn into bedrooms). Part of the density in New York and San Francisco is due to each person taking up less space. There are a lot of empty bedrooms and wasted space in the Rust Belt...not to mention urban prairies. How many buildings has Cleveland torn down in the last ten years? Last 30 years? This extends to most Rust Belt cities...

 

While it's nice that apartments are massive in Rust Belt cities and dirt cheap (incredible bang for buck which should eventually draw people there), it does lower population density and limit urban potential. Street activity is highest where there is real population, not "perception" of past historical density. That's why Los Angeles is vibrant. The population density is there. Even street activity in Venice blows away anything you'd find in Ohio. From a structural or population perspective, Venice is not one of LA's denser areas.

 

And even that perception can be skewed. In many Rust Belt cities, you have urban prairies anchored by two mid-sized, late 19th century or early 20th century buildings. Half the buildings on the block are gone, but you still feel it's urban or "dense" because of the age of the buildings. Your mind fills in the blanks...

 

Even OTR, which is one of the few neighborhoods in Ohio I'd say still feels "dense" lost a ton of buildings and has low population density. It should be housing five times as many people...

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Density in rust belt cities will never reach the same as its peak as long as the housing stock remains the same. This is a good thing. Rust Belt cities were not built for the high density of the East Coast. During Cleveland's peak it was extremely overcrowded. Terrible living conditions. In many cases, these neighborhoods have now right-sized. Many others have completely emptied out. The only true way for rust belt cities to increase density is by new construction.

 

I don't think 10,000 to 15,000 people per square mile is too dense at all. I've lived in neighborhoods of 20,000 to 30,000 people per square mile and honestly, they felt sleepy (Haight-Ashbury or Inner Richmond for example). I've also lived in areas with upwards of 70,000 people per square mile. I'd say 50,000 people per square mile feels about right to me and is a good density. Believe it or not, Ohio had a few neighborhoods with 30,000 to 50,000 people per square mile at its peak in the cores of Cincinnati, Toledo, and Cleveland. While it may have felt "crowded" to some, I don't think it ever reached the conditions of New York and San Francisco. And if it did, it was due to inadequate bathroom facilities and poor sanitation. High population density is certainly doable and livable. "Right-size" for the Rust Belt in my eyes is realistically about 10,000 people per square mile. Each city should double in population. I think the cities were right-sized at their peak populations in 1950, not today. Even city-wide density over 10,000 people per square mile will still be sleepy compared to first tier coastal cities (partially due to lack of tourism), but far more viable from a pedestrian or transit perspective. I've always felt 10,000 people per square mile is the sweet spot.

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Density in rust belt cities will never reach the same as its peak as long as the housing stock remains the same. This is a good thing. Rust Belt cities were not built for the high density of the East Coast. During Cleveland's peak it was extremely overcrowded. Terrible living conditions. In many cases, these neighborhoods have now right-sized. Many others have completely emptied out. The only true way for rust belt cities to increase density is by new construction.

 

I don't think 10,000 to 15,000 people per square mile is too dense at all. I've lived in neighborhoods of 20,000 to 30,000 people per square mile and honestly, they felt sleepy (Haight-Ashbury or Inner Richmond for example). I've also lived in areas with upwards of 70,000 people per square mile. I'd say 50,000 people per square mile feels about right to me and is a good density. Believe it or not, Ohio had a few neighborhoods with 30,000 to 50,000 people per square mile at its peak in Cincinnati, Toledo, and Cleveland. While it may have felt "crowded" to some, I don't think it ever reached the conditions of New York and San Francisco.

 

I think DM4[/member] 's point was that those neighborhood's structures were not built to handle that level of density.  While 10,000-15,000 per square mile may not be "too" dense if housed in a series of high-rises - that same population may be overcrowded in the mid-rise apartment buildings, duplexes, and single-family homes ubiquitous in Cleveland neighborhoods.

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I don't think 10,000 to 15,000 people per square mile is too dense at all. I've lived in neighborhoods of 20,000 to 30,000 people per square mile and honestly, they felt sleepy (Haight-Ashbury or Inner Richmond for example). I've also lived in areas with upwards of 70,000 people per square mile. I'd say 50,000 people per square mile feels about right to me and is a good density. Believe it or not, Ohio had a few neighborhoods with 30,000 to 50,000 people per square mile at its peak in Cincinnati, Toledo, and Cleveland. While it may have felt "crowded" to some, I don't think it ever reached the conditions of New York and San Francisco. And it it did, it was due to inadequate bathroom facilities and poor sanitation. High population density is certainly doable. "Right-size" for the Rust Belt in my eyes is realistically about 10,000 people per square mile. It will still be sleepy compared to coastal cities, but far more viable from a pedestrian or transit perspective.

 

You are looking at citywide density, not neighborhood density. Neighborhood density is all that really matters. A city with large areas of water, industry, (any other non residential use), etc. will have a much lower overall density. That is how Lakewood Ohio shows up denser than Philadelphia, even though anyone with eyes could tell you Philadelphia is far denser than Lakewood.

 

I agree that 10,000 to 15,000 people per square mile is not too dense. Anything between 15,000 to 30,000 seems like a reasonable goal for rust belt cities. 20,000+ would be great. Obviously the 30/50,000+ of the coastal cities would be great, but i'm not sure how realistic that is for a city like Cleveland. Right now the only neighborhoods with that high rust belt density are Lakewood's Gold Coast, Little Italy, Shaker Square, and Coventry Village. Cedar Fairmount depending on what you define the borders as. With new construction, I can easily see Tremont reaching that point as well.

 

 

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Mid-rise apartments could handle that density (and probably those Great Lakes duplexes). Single-family homes? Probably not. One of the issues in the Rust Belt is the wasted space on backyards and trees in front of buildings. There are a lot of small gaps between buildings that could add another three or four bedrooms to each unit. Rust Belt housing tends to waste space on courtyards, small gardens, and little outdoor spaces. It's too "green" so to speak, and is part of the reason its density is lower. There also are large metro park systems that go far beyond the space of a typical city park. It's shocking how many big trees there are in cities like Cleveland, Toledo, and Buffalo. That should force density in the existing residential areas since so much space is wasted on parks.

 

10,000 to 15,000 per square mile would be extremely sparse if housed in high-rises and pretty sparse even in mid-rises. It's a standard density for a duplex or small apartment neighborhood and most Great Lakes neighborhoods had this density (and higher) when they were healthier. The surviving parts of Detroit and Toledo with these densities still feel sleepy to me. It think it's myth that any Great Lakes cities got too "crowded" for any extended period of time. They expanded their neighborhoods to house new immigrants much better than East Coast cities did. They had some housing shortages in the 1920's, but nothing like saltwater coastal cities experienced. At nearly 80 square miles, Cleveland is pretty huge in land area. The crowding was very short-lived and limited since housing sizes were already larger than on the East Coast. There was a lot more space to absorb the Great Lakes population boom. The cities also went bust big time during the Great Depression...that halted population growth in its tracks. Looking at historic photos, it's just hard for me to see any sort of long-term crowding issues. The Lake Erie cities looked amazing up until the 1960's and just about right for their built environment.

 

You are looking at citywide density, not neighborhood density. Neighborhood density is all that really matters. A city with large areas of water, industry, (any other non residential use), etc. will have a much lower overall density. That is how Lakewood Ohio shows up denser than Philadelphia, even though anyone with eyes could tell you Philadelphia is far denser than Lakewood.

 

I'm talking neighborhood density being important. 10,000 people per square mile is not dense, and most Rust Belt neighborhoods today have fallen below this level of density. When Cleveland reached 15,000 people per square mile, it had neighborhoods of 30,000 people per square mile. That's a decent mid-level density. And that wasted space exists in almost every city. LA has huge areas of industry, port facilities, parks, etc. in the city limits. Ditto with San Francisco. That does push residential density up as it should in any city with population growth.

 

At peak, cities like Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Buffalo had tons of space reserved for heavy industry and shipping. That helped make neighborhoods denser than they are today since most of that industry is gone. I stand by my feeling that residential population density needs to double and even triple before things start getting urban on a functional level. When people say Rust Belt neighborhoods feel "dead," it's because of the low population density. I've heard this "dead" comment even in neighborhoods well-preserved with some structural density. These cities were built to happily house much higher population densities. By all means, they should. Cleveland would be awesome if it had neighborhoods of 30,000 people per square mile again. There'd be thousands of people on the streets and everyone would be riding the RTA!

 

*I guess I'm just not buying that these population density losses are OK or "right sizing". I've heard this argument before from Ohio, and I think it's really holding back potential and has me worried about what would happen if developers came in wanting to really up density (say the Rust Belt starts booming again?). Would people protest? Density is too low in cities like Cleveland...

 

Functional urban areas have high population densities. There's no way around that. The neighborhoods around the United States (and world) with viable transit and pedestrian lifestyles have high population densities.

 

It's even true in Ohio. The densest neighborhoods in Cleveland prove this. They are more vibrant.

 

**I also agree with people saying you can get too dense. In most cases, that's around 100,000 people per square mile to me. That's a good chunk of Manhattan and some of San Francisco's core. There is truth that density should match built environment. Manhattan can house insane levels of density because its has the high-rises and superior transit. Its infrastructure is world class. Cleveland of course never had neighborhoods that could handle that, but...don't sell Cleveland short. What makes its potential so great for density is the RTA. It has something no other city in Ohio has and could support much higher densities along the Rapid. I'm thinking 20,000 to 30,000 people per square mile is realistic by those heavy rail stops. Maybe 15,000 people per square mile along the light rail. It's an underutilized transit system with tons of room for growth.

 

In my eyes, Cleveland should be the second-densest city in the Midwest after Chicago. It has the second best transit system.

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Also, Lakewood is less dense than Philadelphia based on the 2010 census (9,426.9 per square mile versus 11,379.6). Philly's core is on the level of Chicago or San Francisco. Lakewood's core is very tiny and peaks much lower. Philly peaks at 64,000 people per square mile. This is an awesome link that goes over major city peak density areas. It's worth a look:

 

http://beyonddc.com/?p=4808

 

The Rust Belt is starting to peak out below Tampa or Phoenix. I think a peak area of 50,0000 people per square mile with many neighborhoods around half to one-third of that density would be ideal for cities like Cleveland.

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Yeah, that list is very accurate to me. LA is much, much denser than most people realize and it extends pretty far out from downtown. Santa Monica, for example, is still over 10,000 people per square mile. It's 15 miles out from downtown. Hollywood is pushing 25,000 per square mile. The entire Wilshire corridor is about 20,000 to 40,000 people per square mile with exceptions being Beverly Hills and a few park areas.

 

This is true. LA actually has some pretty good density. However, its problem IMO is that this density is not continuous and is spotty. There are sections of LA that have dense housing blocks next to neighborhoods with suburban ranch houses.  Another problem with LA is the commercial corridors are spread out far apart and are auto-centric, which is not accommodating for pedestrians.

 

Los Angeles is proving to be more embracing of density since it's becoming less car dependent. The whole SF versus LA development war comes down to private transit versus public transit. Many workers in San Francisco get to work by private luxury bus. I don't think anyone in LA does, hence all the pushes to rapidly expand public transit. Ditto with New York. Very few New Yorkers take private busses to work. That's part of the reason New York has such a good transit system. People embrace public transit in New York. You need population density for any decent public transit system to be viable.

 

I think SF has those buses due to the fact that SF's transit system is poor given the urban character of the city. You also have a lot of high tech job sprawl there combined with workers who want the urban core.

 

What you have in Rust Belt cities are incredibly-gap-toothed cities. You might have one census tract with still over 10,000 people per square mile, but right next to it there is a mostly-destroyed one with 2,000 people per square mile. It's not contiguous density, which is what is most damning from a pedestrian or transit perspective. Cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles do have large areas of contiguous density.

 

Like I said before, I don't agree that LA has good continuous density (at least in built form). Although, with LA it's because it was built that way. With the rust belt it's because neighborhoods have declined.

 

Ohio does not have this. It has maybe a string of preserved neighborhoods in one side of the city with many areas (or even whole sides in the case of Cleveland and Dayton) with destroyed density. It's just really sad considering how dense these Rust Belt cities used to be. Even Pittsburgh, which is a Rust Belt urbanist darling, is very gap-toothed and lacks contiguous density. I think Milwaukee is as close as it gets for a Rust Belt city, but their transit situation? Oh boy, best not to go to Wisconsin if you want to give up the car...

 

Madison and Milwaukee have very pedestrian friendly cores. I have visited Milwaukee without driving, and just getting around by bus and walking. Milwaukee actually has a great core of neighborhoods and it clearly has less "missing teeth" than Cleveland does. There are nice residential areas of Milwaukee with densities in the 20,000 to 30,000 range. Milwaukee is actually a very underrated city. I think it would be a good candidate for a streetcar in the core of the city to link those core neighborhoods.

 

In my eyes, Cleveland should be the second-densest city in the Midwest after Chicago. It has the second best transit system.

 

I agree, but unfortunately it has not translated except for Shaker Square. Little Italy is also getting a new transit stop in the center of the neighborhood, which I think will drive some TOD.

 

Ohio City should be the real TOD target for Cleveland. This neighborhood should have a density of at least 30,000 in my mind, and I believe right now it probably has 1/3 that. There is lots of room in Ohio City for modern row-house development and mid-rise buildings along the commercial corridors.

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Functional urban areas have high population densities. There's no way around that. The neighborhoods around the United States (and world) with viable transit and pedestrian lifestyles have high population densities.

It's even true in Ohio. The densest neighborhoods in Cleveland prove this. They are more vibrant.

 

I also don't like the idea of right-sizing, for sure. But there are weaknesses to an unequivocal association between population density and pedestrian/transit orientation ... Both because the built form contributes so much to our concept of what's dense and household size contributes GREATLY to population density numbers from neighborhood to neighborhood, as other forumers noted above, and because population density considers only residents and not another patrons of neighborhoods (workers, visitors, pedestrian and cyclist through-traffic) that also contribute to both a feel of pedestrian orientation and the individual demand that leads to where transit, bike and sidewalk infrastructure investments are made. Despite its sizable population gains, downtown Cleveland only had 3,404 residents per square mile as of 2010 - just over a third of the residential density of the West Boulevard area at 9,918. But I can't imagine a world where people generally think of West Boulevard as being more "urban" than downtown ... Or doing a better job of serving their transit, biking or walking needs.

 

And it's not the only example - As of 2010, the Hingetown block group in Ohio City had a shockingly low 1,579 residents per square mile, but that didn't stop a number of new retail establishments from opening up there, and recent community surveying I saw showed the vast majority of both residents and visitors thought the neighborhood was very walkable. Meanwhile, Tremont and Goodrich-Kirtland Park (Asiatown) were among the city's least dense neighborhoods, as of 2010, while Cudell and Mount Pleasant remain among its densest. That's not to say that Cudell and Mount Pleasant aren't dense, but I'd wager that Tremont and Asiatown draw disproportionately smaller households and disproportionately larger crowds of workers and visitors that don't get counted in what makes a neighborhood visibly and functionally dense.

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If Cleveland is trying to become more dense, it should look at Milwaukee.  Better lakefront access, more contiguous, urban-themed neighborhoods.  The Rapid does not promote contiguous density by fault of design.  Milwaukee has no LRT and still has connected zones of activity.

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Like I said before, I don't agree that LA has good continuous density (at least in built form). Although, with LA it's because it was built that way. With the rust belt it's because neighborhoods have declined.

 

I'm mainly speaking in regards to West LA. The Hollywood and Wilshire corridors are extremely dense and extensive by any Midwestern standards outside Chicago (though Chicago has gaps too...NY and SF are most contiguous). LA's major streets still aren't to SF's level on Mission, Geary (no rail transit), Haight (no rail transit), Polk (no rail transit), Divisadero (no rail transit), California, Montgomery, or Van Ness (no rail transit). Broadway in Downtown LA is awesome, but it's not Market Street (though LA's Broadway certainly ranks as one of the best big city urban corridors in the United States). The difference maker is that LA is building heavy rail under Hollywood (already built) and Wilshire. SF will never add heavy rail transit again. It's stuck with 8 stations, the same as Oakland. We're talking worlds of difference in political attitudes. That's why I'm such a big fanboy of LA. I work there sometimes and see the changes in person. The people also are some of the best in the country. Ohio and other Middle American areas with suburban fetishes really need to pay attention to Southern California's urban infill (and even San Jose's). LA is the model for suburban to urban transformation. Those ranch houses and strip malls are coming down!

 

LA's continuity does exist in large swaths of the West Side today. It's true that the city was built multi-nodal, but it's filling in well. I can't think of any areas where you have 10,000 to 30,000 people per square mile next to 2,000 people per square mile. The holes aren't as big in LA anymore as they are in the Rust Belt. Things are changing fast.

 

The holes are huge in the Rust Belt. I stand by the feeling that Rust Belt cities are overall less contiguous than almost any other formerly dense, big city pre-WW2 urban cores. It sucks, but it's the harsh truth. Milwaukee is the sole city that seems more contiguous among the Rust Belt.

 

I agree, but unfortunately it has not translated except for Shaker Square. Little Italy is also getting a new transit stop in the center of the neighborhood, which I think will drive some TOD.

 

Ohio City should be the real TOD target for Cleveland. This neighborhood should have a density of at least 30,000 in my mind, and I believe right now it probably has 1/3 that. There is lots of room in Ohio City for modern row-house development and mid-rise buildings along the commercial corridors.

 

This in a nutshell is what I found frustrating about Cleveland. I am somewhat shocked that TOD is so low compared to what I'm seeing in other cities. Just Portland alone boggles my mind since it's not a better city than Clevleand by any measure. Cleveland has better architecture, a bigger downtown, better housing, better cultural amenities (museum, Playhouse Square, non-hipster nightlife), better parks, better food, better beer (sorry Portland, but Great Lakes wins), Lake Erie (though toxic, it's still a valuable asset), and better people (way more diverse, fewer hipsters). I don't know how the hell Cleveland is still losing population. Gen Y should be bum rushing that city for the cheap real estate and transit system. Cities like Portland no doubt did a great job with light rail and TOD, but at its core, Portland was never on Cleveland's level. It's relevant as a regional draw and cost-savings move for Bay Area and Seattle residents, but it's much bigger of a national magnet than it should be. I meet tons of ex-Ohioans in Portland. Why aren't they in Cleveland? Is the light rail system or weather really any better than Cleveland?

 

*But I do think Cleveland's RTA is one of the most underutilized transit systems in the country. Ridership is way too low...

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