We've included one case study below, but you can read the blog on our website for a full summary of the key case studies and lessons.
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
The US federal model devolves fiscal decision-making powers to states to a large extent, and states may further devolve these to cities. As such, Cleveland does have the tools to pursue independent strategies and is primarily funded by local taxes. Challenges in the city include poverty in the core, urban sprawl with population decline, and high racial and income inequality. Despite a wealthy history and the grand architecture of its civic institutions, Cleveland was hit hard by deindustrialisation – although manufacturing remains one of its largest sectors. One of the legacies of this era, the Cleveland Foundation, remains one of the world’s largest community philanthropic foundations, and plays a large role in the city’s regeneration today.
- Greater University Circle Initiative: a 20-30 year strategy where anchor institutions including universities and hospitals collaborate to ensure social procurement and hiring and development activities that benefit local populations.
- Support for co-operatives: while initially funded by the Cleveland Foundation, these worker-owned, socially conscious businesses have proven financially sustainable in sectors from food production to solar panel installation.
- Supporting an existing cluster of healthcare and bio-science research to create a ‘health tech corridor’.
- Supporting manufacturing firms to connect with partners, training and resources to improve jobs.
Has it successfully levelled up? Cleveland’s successful policies illustrate the importance of strategic aims led by community needs, building on local assets, and the benefits of having a grant-making body with political independence to finance long-term projects. However, while success has been made in reducing regional inequality, inequality within the city persists.
Challenges: Retention of local taxes and fragmented political geography across greater Cleveland can impede cohesive decision making across the area. Job growth in geographical clusters can worsen inequality as those with poor connectivity or long commutes may be excluded.