Here’s a good clip from PBS about the environs I call home. Cleveland’s rapid population decline over the last 40 years has left a mess, but there are real estate and structures available everywhere. Budget buyers aren’t always good for a neighborhood however.
My neighborhood isn’t quite as bad as the ones they focus on but I pedal through those parts of town all the time on my way to the studio. I’m in a bit nicer part of Cleveland and have had 4 houses demolished in my neighborhood over the last two years.
I’m all for it — Cleveland will never run out of beautiful big old houses, and the new lot allows for different housing styles or more green space. Urban farming is growing fast in Cleveland, and the county land bank will usually give you property for pennies per square foot if you purchase on a blighted street.
It’s up to us to build our futures. Cleveland (like most old US cities) has plenty of issues but this creates plenty of opportunities. There are some small packets of neighborhood revitalization going on even in the worst areas and I’ve seen more hope than despair over the last couple of years. When you hit bottom there’s only one way to go.