Urban Theory and Analytics Program

Past Work

"Preparing for Growth: An Emerging Neighborhood Market Analysis Commissioned by Mayor Frank G. Jackson for the City of Cleveland"

The analysis laid the groundwork for the City of Cleveland’s $65 million dollar Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. It looked at how the city’s regional economic changes were impacting its demographic patterns at residential markets. Knowledge was given to Mayor Frank Jackson and his team on where to publicly invest. Coverage from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Post-script: Our analysis led to an additional $9 million dollars of outside investment into Cleveland from JP Morgan Chase. Coverage from Crain’s Cleveland, including an excerpt:

“Cleveland is receiving the investment from Chase because the city was selected as a winner in the company's sixth national competition for philanthropic funding, dubbed the Partnership for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (i.e., PRO Neighborhoods). The competition featured 75 applicants covering 49 U.S. cities and seven winners.

Cleveland's application was submitted by CDA and the nonprofit FFCC. Chase said a driving factor in Cleveland's winning application was a 2017 study by Cleveland State University that identified areas in the city with Opportunity Zone designations where focused planning could attract private investment to benefit existing residents and businesses…”

“The Healing Economy: An Economic Development Framework for Cleveland”

The white paper detailed Cleveland’s economic restructuring, and how and why healthcare was leading the way. It posited a long game, noting that the globalization of Cleveland’s “eds and meds” is having unintended consequences: increased health disparities in local communities. That long game? From the report:

“A systematic, Cleveland-based intervention to reduce health disparities can be exported globally, igniting a tradable healthcare model that goes beyond selling services outside the region. This is a new type of economic development model operating as a global-local feedback loop. Here, the global export is the health of the local community.”

Coverage from Inside Digital Health, including expert commentary:

“Perhaps Cleveland's greatest legacy benefit from its era of manufacturing prosperity is world-class healthcare,” Jim Russell told Healthcare Analytics News™. “Perhaps Cleveland's greatest legacy cost from its era of manufacturing prosperity are the health disparities within the region. Thanks to its healthcare expertise, Cleveland is poised to turn its greatest legacy cost into a legacy benefit. The co-location of health care knowledge workers and a wealth of health disparities data is a regional advantage for Northeast Ohio.”

“From Metal to Minds: Economic Restructuring in the Rust Belt”

The white paper takes a deep dive into the evolution of Pittsburgh from the “Steel City” to a global node in emergent industries, particularly robotics and artificial intelligence. There are lessons gleaned, chiefly for cities needing real strategies to spur economic restructuring.

Additionally, the analysis was used by the University of Chicago’s Paulson Institute, who was commissioned by China to give insight on how to restructure from goods- to service-providing economies. An excerpt from their final report:

“What is the key to this success? A recent report from Cleveland State University and the group CEOs for Cities, From Metals to Minds: Economic Restructuring in the Rust Belt, argues that Pittsburgh used its strong educational institutions to anchor its new economic development. The authors use the metaphor of the “host at the party,” where the universities are the host, greeting new business entrants and introducing them to others in research, development, and technology deployment as well as the education and service industries. This approach stands in contrast to a “life of the party” strategy, where a university might try to become the gatekeeper for all research and development, monitoring access to the local economy in favor of its own partner corporations.”

“The Fifth Migration: A Study of Cleveland Millennials”

The study, commissioned by The Cleveland Foundation, analyzes how Cleveland’s economic restructuring is coinciding with regional and local demographic patterns, particularly the urban infill movement. The study has been consistently used by local real estate developers in their capital acquisition process to fund mixed-use development. Coverage from the PBS News Hour, including an excerpt:

“And Cleveland sees hope for more youth as tech business models from the West Coast make their way east, according to a study this year by the Cleveland Foundation.

The number of new graduates in Cleveland shot up during the recession and afterward, reversing losses from the early 2000s, the study found.

‘As the economy stabilized,’ the study said, ‘the growth in educated millennials began diffusing from the country’s largest urban centers into ‘flyover country,’ such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Antonio and Nashville.’”

All past work, essays, and press coverage and expert commentary can be found here.