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Reinventing the 'Mistake on the Lake'.

Philip Dodd looks at the rebranding of US rust belt city Cleveland. Plus artist Cai Guo-Qiang, on using gunpowder & water to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga river fires.

Philip Dodd hosts a special programme recorded in Cleveland, Ohio. Once a booming manufacturing metropolis located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, this 'rust belt' city has for many years been synonymous with industrial decay and high unemployment. For many the city's fortunes changed in 1969 when industrial pollution on the Cuyahoga river caught fire causing an environmental catastrophe, earning the city the moniker 'the mistake on the lake', a pejorative term it still struggles to shake off today.

To find out how Cleveland is reinventing itself in the 21st century, Philip is joined by banker and civic leader Justin Bibb, historian David Stradling, and Colette Jones, one of a team running Destination Cleveland, which attracts visitors to the city.

Plus, Philip meets Cai Guo-Qiang, to hear how the artist has used gunpowder and water to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuyahoga river fires.

David Stradling is the author of Where the River Burned

Chinese-raised New York artist Cai Guo-Qiang has been commissioned as part of Cuyahoga50.

You can find a Free Thinking discussion with writer Adam Gopnik and others about gentrification here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09gyg4q

Producer: Craig Templeton Smith

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Podcast