Last year, I asked Charlie LeDuff what he thought about the “revitalization” narrative for cities like Cleveland and Detroit — and what that media framing means for stakeholders and journalists who try to discuss and address those cities’ actual economic problems. i.e. It’s very fun to laud downtown Cleveland’s genuinely nice dining scene and all, but does that leave room for meaningful social debate? (I show up around 23:40 in the video linked above. The whole thing is good. LeDuff is a mad scientist of urban political/economic journalism.)

With that conversation, here’s Kyle Swenson today talking about a new report that places Cleveland’s post-recession recovery at the bottom of the national heap.

It’s unhealthy to let this conversation slip into the gutter every time a new hotel opens downtown. Cleveland needs a real economic renaissance.

(I had much more to write when I started this post late last night, but, now — over coffee amid the tolling of a new day — I think I’ll just let it stand as a quick entry point into a broader conversation that I’ll return to later.)

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