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  #81  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 5:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mrnyc View Post
although smaller, the cinci business world is much more diversified and notoriously parochial than detroit's was. that has definitely has helped them weather economic storms much better. just another example of immigration being less of an issue for that area i think.
How would you know this? Why do some of you throw around the word "diversified" as if you have a single clue on the intricacies of these economies and their downtown businesses throughout history.

I think Cincy not getting as much office sprawl is probably true, Detroit has many office centers and they're recently starting to pour back into downtown again. Which is why there's a big surge right now, nobody wants to sit in depressing office parks anymore and companies need to offer more to be competitive.

Anyway I don't think this has worked out as well for Cincy as some of you think, like 3/4ths of the central area was basically destroyed. Macy's just closed their department store and the business itself is downsizing in the city.
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  #82  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 5:59 PM
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How would you know this? Why do some of you throw around the word "diversified" as if you have a single clue on the intricacies of these economies and their downtown businesses throughout history.

I think Cincy not getting as much office sprawl is probably true, Detroit has many office centers and they're recently starting to pour back into downtown again. Which is why there's a big surge right now, nobody wants to sit in depressing office parks anymore and companies need to offer more to be competitive.

Anyway I don't think this has worked out as well for Cincy as some of you think, like 3/4ths of the central area was basically destroyed. Macy's just closed their department store and the business itself is downsizing in the city.


you are talking about recent. i was obviously talking about the rust belt era.

as if you know anything about either, but here you are.
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  #83  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:01 PM
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My two cents: There are three different kinds of decline, and people are conflating them.

The first is white flight. This can be defined broadly as the loss of (non-hispanic) white residents - making a city less white over time. It can also be defined more narrowly as the loss of (non-hispanic) white residents due to racist fear of demographic change in those neighborhoods. I prefer the latter as a definition. The early wave of suburbanization in the U.S. (from say 1945 to around 1965 or so) was not driven by avoidance of black people. Instead, it was driven by movement away from the city because it was dirty/crowded. New suburbs became overwhelmingly white because of openly segregationist housing policy, but if that hadn't existed, lots of black people would have moved to the suburbs as well. Regardless, classic "white flight" happened in cities basically in proportion to the growth of the black population. Within the core rust belt, it was worst in Detroit, least bad in Pittsburgh, and intermediate just about everywhere else. But it's important to note the white flight dynamic existed outside of the Rust Belt as well in cities in the Northeast (Baltimore, Hartford), Southeast (Birmingham), and West (Oakland).

What does - however - set the Rust Belt apart is that in most cases it was solely driven by white neighborhoods turning black. This is key because generally speaking black white flight urban neighborhoods have a tendency to become blighted over time, while Latino white flight urban neighborhoods just get a bit more run down but remain densely populated and structurally intact. Also, very low property values in the rust belt mean that there's little incentive to maintain properties in the worst neighborhoods, which is why "urban prairie" ended up much more of a problem than in high-cost metros.

The second is job flight to the suburbs. To a certain extent, all metros had this occur in the latter half of the 20th century. Manufacturing plants - to the extent they still existed - moved out of urban cores and into industrial parks with highway access. New low-wage service-sector jobs in areas like retail and health services tended to be located in the suburbs. But some traditional cities were better than others at retaining the historic downtown office employment nodes than others. This however doesn't seem to have much to do with whether or not they are rust belt cities. For example, Pittsburgh is undoubtedly part of the Rust Belt, however, it also has a much healthier employee to population ratio than Philadelphia, which is not, in part because Philly instituted a commuter tax, which caused a lot of white-collar work to relocate over time to office parks along the Main Line. So today, Greater Downtown Pittsburgh has six fortune 500 companies (with only one still located in the suburbs), while Philly just has two in its downtown, and seven in its suburbs.

The last type of decline - which I believe is most strongly associated with the Rust Belt, is metro-wide decline. Rather than the dynamic being the city losing jobs to the suburbs, the metro has lost jobs entirely, whether due to automation, runaway shops to the south, or offshoring. This means that any growth the metro area has is just shuffling around the decline. Booming exurbs - or revitalizing inner-urban neighborhoods - just mean that the inner suburbs are crashing that much harder. While not all core rust belt metros are actually losing population/number of jobs across the metro, I believe that if you looked at the inflation-adjusted GDP of each of the MSAs, they are all declining in output - declining in absolute activity.
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  #84  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:03 PM
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Macy's just closed their department store and the business itself is downsizing in the city.
using Macy's, or mid-range department stores in general, as a barometer for anything in 2020 seems a bit suspect.

that retail model has been collapsing from coast to coast for a couple decades now
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  #85  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
using Macy's, or mid-range department stores in general, as a barometer for anything in 2020 seems a bit suspect.

that retail model has been collapsing from coast to coast for a couple decades now
Macy's corporate HQ is in Cincinnati, so it is more relevant there than almost anywhere else.
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  #86  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:17 PM
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Macy's corporate HQ is in Cincinnati, so it is more relevant there than almost anywhere else.
i'm aware that macy's HQ is located in cincy.

my point was that the classic department store model seems to be tanking everywhere (whether it's sears, macy's, JC penny's, etc.).

macy's struggles have little to tell us about the health of downtown cincinnati because its struggles aren't specific to cincy. that entire retail sector is struggling across the nation.
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  #87  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i'm aware that macy's HQ is located in cincy.

my point was that the classic department store model seems to be tanking everywhere (whether it's sears, macy's, JC penny's, etc.).

macy's struggles have little to tell us about the health of downtown cincinnati because its struggles aren't specific to cincy. that entire retail sector is struggling across the nation.

true, other than it is an example of their business diversity.
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  #88  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
macy's struggles have little to tell us about the health of downtown cincinnati because its struggles aren't specific to cincy. that entire retail sector is struggling across the nation.
I thought this was referring to an urban location but upon closer look I see that it is in a mall, so I take back when I said.
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  #89  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:36 PM
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Actually, Macys had a downtown Cincy store, but it closed a few years ago. It was right across from the main square (Fountain Plaza or whatever).

I agree that Cincy's topography aided centralization and business/wealth retention, somewhat. In 2020, though, I think it can be argued that Detroit's core is healthier than that of Cincy. The city overall, no.
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  #90  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:41 PM
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Throw US Census numbers for foreign-born in the trash. They are total BS. Drastically undercounted. Because the census does an absolutely TERRIBLE job at actually figuring out who lives where. They hire part-time people to walk around neighborhoods, knock on doors, and ask how many people live here. It's a fucking joke. Especially when it comes to providing an accurate assessment of foreign-born population... mainly because the method is woefully inadequate as a means to count refugees. And refugees often make up the major portion of foreign-born population in rustbelt cities.

This is precisely why many cities in the region are forming task forces to much more accurately account for the numbers of foreign-born in their municipalities for the 2020 census. Pittsburgh, for example, began an initiative made up of the resettlement agencies, municipal govts, schools, community groups, econ dev agencies, etc. to achieve an much more accurate count of who's actually living in the city and county.
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  #91  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 6:49 PM
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Throw US Census numbers for foreign-born in the trash. They are total BS. Drastically undercounted.
even if foreign born populations in US cities are drastically under-counted by the cenusus bureau (and they probably are), i still believe that the numbers we do have are accurate enough on a relative basis to tell us which cities have more immigrants living within them and which cities have less.

we don't need rocket science level accuracy in the numbers to tell us that, on a relative basis, miami has a shit-load of immigration, chicago has a moderate level, and cleveland has very little.




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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
What does - however - set the Rust Belt apart is that in most cases it was solely driven by white neighborhoods turning black. This is key because generally speaking black white flight urban neighborhoods have a tendency to become blighted over time, while Latino white flight urban neighborhoods just get a bit more run down but remain densely populated and structurally intact. Also, very low property values in the rust belt mean that there's little incentive to maintain properties in the worst neighborhoods, which is why "urban prairie" ended up much more of a problem than in high-cost metros.
first of all, great post!

the part i bolded above would be yet another example where chicago stands apart a bit from the rest of the rust belt, as vast swaths of the SW and NW sides of the city transitioned from white ethnic to latino (some of which are now transitioning to white gentrifiers), and thus many neighborhoods were "saved" from the disinvestment/abandonment death spiral, which in turn is a large part of what makes many of them more appealing to chicago's gentrifiers than the city's predominately black neighborhoods, which almost across the board have WAY less intact commericial corridors.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Jan 29, 2020 at 7:43 PM.
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  #92  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 7:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
even if foreign born populations in US cities are drastically under-counted by the cenusus bureau (and they probably are), i still believe that the numbers we do have are accurate enough on a relative basis to tell us which cities have more immigrants living within them and which cities have less.

we don't need rocket science level accuracy in the numbers to tell us that, on a relative basis, miami has a shit-load of immigration, chicago has a moderate level, and cleveland has very little.
Yeah, on a broad relative basis, we do know what cities seem to have more immigrants and those that do not. And we know that rustbelt cities obviously missed out on much foreign immigration from the 1960s thru the 1990s that many cities outside of the economically-declining region experienced.

But refugee population influx to the region, especially since the 1980s and surging in the late 90s up until a couple years ago basically, is significant. And highly significant numbers of refugees have settled in smaller rustbelt cities. I'm most familiar with this in Pennsylvania, with Erie, Scranton, Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Reading receiving a lot of this influx... for instance, in my hometown, the city of Erie is only around 100k in total population now, but that includes 20% immigrants and refugees. These numbers are based on actual USCIS and state and local resettlement agency records... and not on "door knocker" census counts which put Erie's foreign-born percentage at only 5%... which is hilariously inaccurate since Erie had over 5,0000 Bhutanese refugees by 2015 alone.

And this is the case in a small city -- I have no idea the level of undercounting that occurs in a large metro area, but logic has me imagining that it's major.

The US Census is a total joke when it comes to accurately counting immigrants and refugees... and it will probably be even less accurate now that Trump has people even more fearful to report.

Also, something that should be noted is the nomenclature and how terms and corresponding numbers can be erroneously conflated to describe active immigration to various cities/regions. Foreign born population is a really misleading descriptor to assess immigration to cities because a foreign-born resident of a city may have immigrated decades prior and have resided as a US citizen for many years.

For example, how do you know that Miami "has a shit-load of immigration"?
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  #93  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 7:39 PM
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For example, how do you know that Miami "has a shit-load of immigration"?
i misspoke.

i fixed it:
"we don't need rocket science level accuracy in the numbers to tell us that, on a relative basis, miami has a shit-load of foreign born residents, chicago has a moderate amount, and cleveland has few."
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  #94  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 7:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i misspoke.

i fixed it:
"we don't need rocket science level accuracy in the numbers to tell us that, on a relative basis, miami has a shit-load of foreign born residents, chicago has a moderate amount, and cleveland has few."
ok yeah, changing from "immigration" to "foreign born" makes a difference in understanding the makeup of a place and its active influx of people from other countries. And it's not about a rocket science level of accuracy. Like the example I gave about with smaller rustbelt cities, the numbers aren't even close to being accurate.

Re: the Miami example... Not that Miami doesn't have a lot of current immigration, but using foreign born as proxy for it doesn't make sense since, for instance, Miami-Dade is comprised of about 26% Cuban-born residents, making up almost half of Miami-Dade's foreign born population. But... over half of that Cuban-born population are US citizens and have been for decades. Like my in-laws, they came to Miami between the late 1950s and early 1970s to flee Castro. Half of Miami's largest "immigrant" group ahve been here for 40+ years. For practical counting purposes in a case like this, they are not immigrants.
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  #95  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 7:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
good point.




i noticed that you left chicago off of that list, and probably for good reason. while chicago has certainly lagged far behind the big coastal immigration centers (NYC, LA, SF, miami, etc.) for some time now, it still has been able to attract significantly more immigrants than the other cities in the "lack of immigration belt".


major midwest/rust belt cities by foreign born %:

chicago - 20.6%
minneapolis - 15.3%
columbus - 10.7%
milwaukee - 9.9%
indianapolis - 7.8%
buffalo - 7.3%
kansas city - 7.1%
detroit - 6.6%
rochester - 6.5%
pittsburgh - 6.4%
st. louis - 5.9%
cleveland - 4.5%
cincinnati - 3.4%

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...orn_population




for reference, here's the foreign born percentage for some of america's hyped-up "city darlings":

austin - 20.2%
seattle - 17.6%
denver - 15.7%
portland - 12.6%


so i don't think we can accurately place chicago in this so-called "lack of immigration" belt, or we will have to radically expand the borders of said belt.
Is there a more up to date list? This is from 2009?
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  #96  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 8:01 PM
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Is there a more up to date list?
probably.

that's just what was most readily available on wikipedia.
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  #97  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 8:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post

for reference, here's the foreign born percentage for some of america's hyped-up "city darlings":

austin - 20.2%
seattle - 17.6%
denver - 15.7%
portland - 12.6%

To belabor the problematic use of "foreign born" terminology as an indicator of immigration...

Outsized numbers of people within these percentages in "tech" cities like the above are termed temporary migrants, which include temporary workers, researchers, and students. Austin is a prime example of this.
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  #98  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 1:45 AM
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I do wonder if geographic constraints have a small effect as well. Cincinatti and Pittsburgh, while also being some of the hardest hit from the loss of manufacturing, ...
I see someone's making good use of Steely Dan's mnemonic device for spelling Cincy: "cin" + "cin" + "atti"!
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  #99  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 1:52 AM
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This thread has been really interesting I've been streetviewing around Gary, IN (I've passed through many times over the years but never really bothered to do anything but zip past the city on I-90). I think I'll have to explore next time.

Interesting that the steel mill is still there and still a MAJOR plant, just that... the manpower (90% of it) isn't needed anymore. (BTW I feel it's not the last time humanity gets confronted to that issue; we'll have some sort of UBI eventually, it's inevitable.)

Michael Jackson's childhood home really fascinates me too. You can still picture the good old times when every family on that street had a decent steel mill job and an American lower/middle class life.

Funny that it's located on Jackson Street - I originally figured it had been renamed in honor of the family, but then I realized the streets on one side are Monroe, Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Washington while on the other side they're Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler, Polk ...
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  #100  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2020, 1:59 AM
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To belabor the problematic use of "foreign born" terminology as an indicator of immigration...

Outsized numbers of people within these percentages in "tech" cities like the above are termed temporary migrants, which include temporary workers, researchers, and students. Austin is a prime example of this.
These four cities - as someone else already pointed out - seem mostly famous as DOMESTIC migration magnets to me. I'm not surprised their %s of foreign born aren't anything special. I'd bet anything that their "% of current residents born out of the city" and "% of current residents born out of the state" are both through the roof, though.

Anyone knows how many current Austinites are Austin-born, how many current Portlanders are Portland-born, how many current Seattleites are Seattle-born, how many current Denverites are Denver-born? I'm sure the figures would be pretty low (by average standards).
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