Repurposing America’s Rust Belt

The Lincoln Institute has a pretty interesting slideshow and report about what it calls America’s legacy cities — generally, old industrial cities that haven’t found their footing in a less industrial economy. Cincinnati is on the list — a mostly ungentrified old American city whose building stock looks oddly like New York’s:

One intriguing aspect of the report is how it quantifies the different assets in these older cities. Features like universities, hospitals, waterfronts, and parks are broken out and listed for the surveyed places. One takeaway seems to be that Pennsylvania’s legacy cities are coming back to life faster than some others. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are doing better than most. But I wonder if Philadelphia should even be on the list. It’s virtually a coastal city; its region has a concentration of colleges and hospitals that’s comparable to Boston’s; and Center City is fewer than 90 miles from Midtown Manhattan. That’s a pretty different game from Cincinnati’s.