Haven’t written an essay in a while as I got a new gig. Will be running my own shop at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. I am writing my second policy paper now. Here is a recent write-up by the Plain Dealer about what the new gig is all about. Also, check out the Center’s new tumblr blog called Cleveland Flows. It will be humming soon enough.

Cleveland’s “trouble-making” demographer gets a center to plot the region’s growth:

Richey Piiparinen’s observations about Northeast Ohio’s population patterns have been attracting a lot of attention of late. He’s the numbers cruncher who reported that Cleveland’s population free-fall was not caused by people leaving.

The city actually does a better job keeping its residents than many growing cities, including Chicago and Columbus, Piiparinen showed in a widely circulated paper that he co-authored with James Russell. What’s been emptying the city, the pair said, is a lack of churn. Too few people were arriving to offset a natural outflow of residents.

That’s the kind of observation that changes a conversation. It’s earned him audiences with area business groups and civic leaders. Many recall Piiparinen from an earlier study, when he revealed an eye-opening dimension of downtown’s population boomlet. Thanks to millennials seeking downtown apartments, he reported, the inner city was growing faster than the suburbs for the first time in modern history.

Administrators at Cleveland State University have heard enough. Recently, they made the 37-yeard-old Cleveland native a research fellow and put him in charge of a new Center for Population Dynamics. It’s part of the Levin College of Urban Affairs lead by Dean Edward “Ned” Hill.