My latest column is now online in the September issue of Governing magazine. It’s about the criticality of connectivity to success in the global economy.
One of the most important ways for cities to get connected is through migration. Jim Russell and his collaborator Richey Piiparinen at Cleveland State University’s Center for Population Dynamics have been documenting how Cleveland has been getting more connected to the global world through this process. This includes foreign immigration but isn’t limited to that. A key part of it is the influx into places like Cleveland of people who have lived in major global cities like New York, then cycled out.
There are many reasons for this kind of migration, but living costs are certainly one of them. America’s major global urban centers have become extraordinarily expensive to live in. Life in a “microapartment” in New York is less attractive when you are in your 30s and married with kids than it is when you are 22, single and fresh out of college.
What Rust Belt cities like Cleveland can offer is an authentic urban experience in a genuinely historic place at a price that can’t be beat. No one will mistake it for life in Brooklyn, but these cities’ price/performance ratio has a growing appeal, as their downtown population growth shows.
Click through to read the whole thing.