To many, regionalism
is the term used to describe the consolidation of countless, redundant municipalities. While useful, necessary and inevitable, that aspect of regionalism is not intrinsically accurate, at least according to those whose mission it is to market Northeast Ohio.
True regionalism, they argue, is defined by economic activity -- not political boundaries.
With major hubs such as Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown, not to mention scores of the aforementioned small towns, the 16-county "Cleveland Plus" region covers over 6,000 square miles and is home to over four million people, making it the 12th largest region in the U.S.
Uniting that region and marketing its unique and sweeping assets -- arts, culture, local food, medical capital, advanced manufacturing, higher education, quality of life... -- is what true regionalism is and should be all about.