Life as a 'Hipster Homesteader' in Cincinnati

A writer examines what it's like to live in the suburbs and work in the city of Cincinnati—to "exist in the physical and social margins" yet still play an active role in shaping the city's identity.
spirit of america / Shutterstock

"I fancy myself a type of hipster homesteader," says Jenny Ustick in introducing a longread on the many dynamics of living in the suburbs of eastern Cincinnati.

A few highlights, by way of introducing this compelling article that describes changing times in Cincinnati:

"On a recent drive home, as warmth from my car’s engine was finally reaching my toes and I was putting distance between myself and the city, I realized that there is something similar about us commuters and the way the heat in my car works: convection. We move fluidly (and sometimes not so fluidly) in and out of the city limits, from neighborhood to neighborhood, through cuts in the rolling hills and in all the cardinal directions. It is a cycle, an exchange of capital, of information, and ideas. We leave our contributions, and we get things in return. And it’s not just true of me and my job and my automobile, but the history of the city and the people who have built its character."

"We do ourselves a disservice by tying assumptions about one’s philosophy, allegiance, or usefulness to proximity. I don’t have to live in the city proper, or want to, in order to do good work in the city. You don’t have to live in the suburbs. You don’t have to want to live in the suburbs. Neither of us should hold that against one another. In fact, you might be surprised at how much we have in common."

The article also includes analysis of the Cincinnati streetcar controversy, gentrification, and climate change. 

Full Story: Neither Created Nor Destroyed

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95