Saving Cities Solves the Rust Belt Brain Drain

Cleveland’s uphill battle for its reputation has been going on for years—at least since 1969, the year its Cuyahoga River infamously caught fire (sorry, Cleveland—had to). The city has made its water, well, water again, but stopping the runoff of its best and brightest citizens has proved a tougher challenge, and the economic crisis hasn’t helped. “We're hurting. No doubt,” says Jack Storey, a native Clevelander and co-founder of the Saving Cities initiative, a new project aiming to combat brain drain in aging Rust Belt cities.

Storey founded Saving Cities last year with several other twentysomething Rust Belters, folks from places like Detroit and Akron who believed there was a fresh case to be made to young professionals: That same poor economy has also made these downtowns ideal places to live. “We offer so many things that larger cities can't,” says Storey. “Affordable daily living, manageable commuting and public transit, the opportunity to own something substantial without drowning in debt.”

That last one’s a biggie. And one of the group’s main current initiatives—they brainstorm daily around a “Rust Belt Hierarchy of Needs”—centers on reclaiming vacant properties in “developing” neighborhoods and marketing them to the creative class. “These are homes that would otherwise be torn down [or] left to rot,” Storey says.

But the project’s most significant new move may be symbolic: the way they’re pooling not just resources, but identities, to get behind the “postindustrial” theme. “[We’re] not trying to create a competition between cities,” Storey notes. Emphasizing the common experience of these cities is a clever way of pointing out its value.

Logo by Michael McFarland at Design Monkey, Ltd.; photo by Angela Jarden


Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

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Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

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The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

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via Anadirc / Flickr

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