"Let’s take stock. As a region, we got smaller, more spread out, more segregated by race and income. Cleveland’s image problem? Still bad, perhaps worse. The state of the Cleveland Public Schools? Ugh. The future of our region more generally? The trends aren’t encouraging.
The word sprawl — the thing that is killing our region, robbing children of opportunities, preventing working age people from reaching economic opportunities, the thing that is draining the wealth (home equity) of middle class families — is absent from the civic discussion.
The Plain Dealer — loyal to its suburban readership — never broaches the topic. The one exception is architecture critic Steve Litt and then only as an aside. NOACA, metro Cleveland’s regional planning agency, demonstrating true leadership, does not use the word in ANY of its planning documents. But Director Howard Maier says it’s not necessary because the intent of the word is “marbled in” to its policies. (If you say so, Howard.) Northeast Ohio has no smart growth agency. No watchdog group or nonprofit membership organization dedicated to tracking this issue.
How on earth are we going to change this [pattern] if we can’t even bring ourselves to utter the word sprawl?”
- Angie Schmitt for Streetsblog and Rust Wire