Cleveland State University

Economic Development

Columns and Popular Publications

Hill, Edward W., Lakewood needs West End redevelopment, Plain Dealer, May 19, 2003.

How does a city balance its financial viability against the rights of a small portion of its population? That is the question that Lakewood's City Council faces tonight on the West End project.
The project is a combination of up to 275 condominiums with retail shops, restaurants and a multiscreen movie theater. Jess Bell Jr., president of Bonne Bell Inc., said that his cosmetics company, with its $10 million payroll and $200,000 in local tax payments, would consider staying in Lakewood's West End as part of the project. Without it, the company's location goes into play, with Lakewood holding a losing hand. The value of the project without Bonne Bell is estimated at $151 million. The developers have a reputation for doing quality work; they are committed to "new urbanist," street-friendly designs. What's not to like?

Hill, Edward W., Set a development agenda, Inside Business, March 2002, 34-35

The pain of the current recession and the loss of LTV is leading many to overlook the region's real competitive strengths.
Northeast Ohio is a world-class center of high-value manufacturing production, and it has a technologically intense economy based on the application of chemistry, metallurgy, and, increasingly, information technology.
Saying Northeast Ohio is not a "high-tech" region is a misinformed assertion.
Indeed, 6.9 percent of all private-sector employment in the Cleveland area is in technology-intense occupations, while in the Akron area that figure is 6.1 percent. The U.S. average is 7 percent.
Therefore, Northeast Ohio's economic doldrums are not based on the technology used to make things; they are based on what is made. Northeast Ohio's companies are not innovating new products.

Hill, Edward W., Factories will manufacture region's recovery, Crain's Cleveland Business October 22-28, 2001.

As Northeast Ohio confronts another economic downturn, pundits are busy declaring our existing economic base dead, looking to other regions to figure out what should be done next. In the 1979 to 1983 recession, the touted panacea to the region's economic woes was services. In the 1990 recession, it was computers. Today, the path to success is supposed to lie with the "New Economy." In the two previous recessions, manufacturing and process innovations within manufacturing led this region's recovery. It will do so again. Manufacturing will lead the recovery because there is no such thing as the New Economy. There is only a dynamic economy where markets are broader then ever, product life cycles are shorter than ever, and information technology is part of business infrastructure. The key to Northeast Ohio's future is to build from strength and competitive advantage, not from weakness and competitive disadvantage - and that is manufacturing.

Hill, Edward W., The Cleveland economy: A case study of economic restructuring. In W. Dennis Keating, Norman Krumholz and David Perry (eds.) Cleveland: A metropolitan reader (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1995): 53-86. Parts of this chapter have been subsequently reprinted as: A city built on work, Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 7, 1997 and Bingham et al., Beyond edge cities (NY: Garland Publishing, 1997) pp.56-61.

In 1978 everything seemed to come apart in Cleveland: politically, the mayor survived a voter recall by 236 votes; fiscally, Cleveland was the first city to suffer a bond default since the Great Depression; and ecologically, Lake Erie was declared dead. Coterminous with these disasters, the economy of Greater Cleveland experienced an irreparable secular erosion of its durable goods base, starting in the third quarter of 1979 and continuing until the first quarter of 1983, signaling the end of the old economic order. This essay discusses Cleveland's shift from the old to a new order economy. A brief description of the emergence of the industrial old order economy is followed by an analysis of the new economic structure. This analysis suggests that the new economic structure involves more than the numbers of jobs lost or changed. It is also evident in changes in the incidence of poverty, the relative costs of housing, and the occupational characteristics of the residential labor force.

Hill, Edward W. An Economic View of Land Development, Citizen Participation, a publication
of the Citizens League of Greater Cleveland (June, 1998): p. 10 & 12.

In April 1998, the Citizens League of Greater Cleveland surveyed public attitudes about farmland and open space among Northeast Ohio's residents as part of its "Rating the Region" project. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents agreed that "loss of farmland and open space to new development" is a serious problem. It is no surprise that three-quarters of residents in fast-growing Medina and Geauga Counties agreed with the statement.
Similarly, more than 70 percent of the residents in rural Portage and Ashtabula Counties disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: "it is better to build new neighborhoods in suburban and rural areas instead of investing in neighborhoods in urban areas." Anti-sprawl activists have joined hands with ecologists, lobbyists for farmland preservation, and rural residents who want close the door to development behind them in arguing that there is a special value in preserving land that is farmed in the outlying portions of the metropolitan area. Such sentiments are fine, laudable, and, if not accompanied by someone's checkbook-meaningless.

Hill, Edward W., The Future of Northeast Ohio's Airports: Providing a regional solution,
Akron Beacon-Journal, November 15, 1997; also printed in Crain's Cleveland Business, December 8, 1997.

Over the course of the past 10 or more years, community leaders have engaged in considerable debate regarding the future of Northeast Ohio's air service capabilities. No one has questioned the importance of providing superior air transportation in and out of Northeast Ohio; in fact, quite the opposite is true. Leaders are in strong agreement that air service is critical to the continued economic growth of this area. They are not in agreement, however, as to how that service can best be delivered. While the cities of Brook Park and Cleveland have come to an agreement on the expansion of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, ongoing discussions continue regarding the development of a new regional airport, possibly at the largely abandoned Ravenna Arsenal property.

It is clear to me, however, that the best course of action is one that has not yet been discussed. The solution to volume constraints lies in maximizing existing air service capacity and in making incremental investments that improve the competitive position of all of Northeast Ohio's airports.

Hill, Edward W., Vouchers Are Not Enough, (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, September 28, 1994.

Mayors of big cities and older suburbs should thank state courts - such as Ohio's - for striking down property-tax-based school-funding forumulas. These decisions offer a chance to save older neighborhoods and help cities hold onto middle-class residents.
There is no constitutional reason for tying school funding reform to public education reform. But if state legislatures look at these constitutional challenges as no more than a money problem, they will forfeit a historical opportunity. Meaningful school reform can stabilize urban neighborhoods by breaking the connection between school and residence and promoting desegregation, while strengthening public education.
This requires school choice and competition between publicly supported schools. But simpleminded voucher schemes do nothing to break the link connecting residence and school selection. Such plans offer choice only within existing school districts, which remain segregated if districts are products of housing segregation. Choice that saves neighborhoods requires districts that are representative of metropolitan areas.

Hill, Edward W., Perspective: Contested Cleveland, Urban Affairs Association Newsletter (Winter 1992).

How do you wrap your arms around a place like Cleveland? It cannot be done in a simple way, and no single "fact" or metaphor will give you a complete picture. All you can do is grapple with images of the city and region, images that have become caricatures which both inform and distort. They compete for our attention and understanding and yield views that are incomplete without others. Three images dominate the national view of Cleveland.

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