Cleveland: MEDIPLEX CITY
Once the fourth largest city in the United States and a major industrial center, Cleveland has lapsed into decades of sustained decline. The loss of its middle class population and economic base in manufacturing has left the city financially and physically in shambles. Amidst this perfect storm of bad news, one sector of Cleveland’s economy has been growing prodigiously: healthcare. The Cleveland Clinic, the city’s medical namesake, is now its largest employer and a cornerstone of Cleveland’s economy. Throughout the past twenty years the Clinic has developed acres of the city’s east side, while developing a symbiotic relationship with Cleveland’s urban blight. Probing the economic, intellectual and aesthetic roots of the Clinic’s symbiosis with its host city, this paper will provide a framework for designers to re-think the relationship between Cleveland and its Clinic – urging that a new type of city rise at the synthesis of urbanism and urban hospital.