In Praise of Cincinnati's Progressive Urbanism

Alan G. Brake celebrates the Queen City's utilization of public space, place making, and mixed-use development to build its competitive advantage, despite America's "deep-seated anti-urban streak."

Brake credits Mayor Mark Mallory with "making the case for Cincinnati's urbanity, for its cityness, as a competitive advantage, something that many small and midsized cities have long scorned," and for placing these items at the center of his mayoral agenda. Three interconnected projects reflect this ethos:

  • A new mixed-use neighborhood in between the city's riverfront stadiums, along with a generous new waterfront park
  • A coordinated redevelopment-including renovation and new construction-of a large piece of the Over the Rhine neighborhood
  • A long-planned and hotly contested streetcar line connecting both areas with downtown in between

"In a recent video for Smart Growth America, the mayor articulated his vision: 'We've got to be able to attract and retain young people, and we've got to be able to attract and maintain the companies that are going to create jobs. People are looking for public transportation when they are deciding which city they want to be in. They are looking for public infrastructure to be in place. All the elements you see in larger cities that are stable, that have growing populations, we are trying to incorporate into Cincinnati so we can level the playing field.'"

 

Full Story: Editorial> Getting It Right in the Queen City

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