About Me

keywords–Urbanist. Thinker. Rust Belt Writer. City Storyteller and Strategist. Researcher. Clevelander. Into Urban Identities and Collective Psychological States.

writing–My writings can be found throughout the web. I blog regularly at Rust Belt Chic and Huffington Post. I am co-editing a book called Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology. Below is a list of selected works, followed by selected press coverage of my writing. If interested, contact me at r_piiparinen@hotmail.com

formal experience, philosophy–I am a policy researcher at Case Western Reserve University’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.  I am also a strategist that helps cities uncover their core identity and assets.

I have graduate degrees in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago and in urban planning and design from Levine College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State. This hybrid formal training has influenced how I view the city: not just as a collection of forms, but as an aggregate of emotions. My writings are carved, then, by the philosophy that a city’s psychology should be attended to no less than its streets, bridges, and buildings. Oh, but I can speak to the bricks and mortar stuff too.

Selected editorials, essays, reports on urbanism and the Rust Belt

The Death of American Cool Huffington Post July 31, 2012

Rust Belt Fatalism: Why Psychology is Important in City Making Huffington Post Detroit July 18, 2012

Going native: local scribe takes rust belt migration expert on a tour through Cleveland Freshwater Cleveland, July 5, 2012

Ruin Porn: As Dirty as You Need It to Be Huffington Post, June 22, 2012

The Rust Belt Aesthetic: Conflict and Creativity Huffington Post, June 19, 2012

Rust Belt Chic: Not Just for Hipsters Rust Wire, May 18, 2012

The Psychology of Sprawl Next American City Mar 21, 2012

Not Dead Yet: The Infill of Cleveland’s Core Urban Institute, Metrotrends Spotlights Mar 14, 2012

An Illustrated History of Cleveland’s Varied Attempts at Branding Rust Wire, Feb 14, 2012

In Defense of Ruin Porn Next American City Feb 7, 2012

Sprawl, Under Any Other Name, is Still Sprawl Next American City Jan 26, 2012

The city stripped down: How ruin porn can help rebuild the Rust Belt Grist Dec 30, 2011

The Cleveland Comeback Version 5.0 The Urbanophile Jun 14, 2011

Selected Media Coverage

National Public Radio: Rust Belt Reboot Has Downtown Cleveland Rocking

Salon: Rust Belt chic: Declining Midwest cities make a comeback

The Atlantic: Cleveland’s Downtown Rebound

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland’s inner city is growing faster than its suburbs as young folks flock downtown. 

Planetizen: On the Ethos of City Branding: or, Trying Versus Being 

Scene Magazine: The History of Branding Cleveland

Huffington Post: Are we unfairly stigmatizing Rust Belt photography?

Cleveland Plain Dealer: 3 out of 4 Cleveland Suburbs Saw Poverty Increase the Last Decade

Architect Magazine: Can ruin porn help urban blight?

The Atlantic: Cleveland’s Disappearing Warehouse District, Then and Now

Planetizen: Sprawl is driven by our collective unconscious

Selected Academic Research

briefly Stated: Not Dead Yet: The Infill of Cleveland’s Urban Core Case Western Reserve University, April 2012

briefly Stated: The Changing Face of Poverty in NE Ohio Case Western Reserve University, Jan 2012

Existential Loss as a Determinant to Well-being in the Dementia Caregiving Dyad: A Conceptual Model DEMENTIA, May 2011

Stress symptoms one year after 9/11/01: A follow up Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2003

Stress symptoms of two groups before and after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2011 Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2003

Selected Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction

Broken Flowers Titular Mar 2010

And May the Lord Grant the Blessings to All Who Want So Hard Eyeshot Mar 2010

That Light Between Smoke and Wax Dripping Pank Magazine Oct 2009

Memories are the Compasses that Chase us Around Dogzplot Jun 2009