The Return of the Queen
Yung looks back ten years to a city shaken by civil unrest and with a downtown in decline, in order to contrast Cincinnati's dramatic turnaround over the past decade. "In ten years time, the city center has experienced a resurrection from what appeared to be a near death experience. Fountain Square now attracts concerts and events, The Banks has become reality, Over-the-Rhine is being revitalized before our eyes, and it seems like every day there is a new project, a new store, a new cultural amenity, or a new festival choosing the downtown area."
Although others have credited Mayor Mark Mallory with leading the city on a path of progressive urbanism, Yung looks to the Center City Plan [PDF] as having laid the foundation for the current resurgence. According to Yung, oriented around four key initiatives, "What the plan did is lay out a vision and way forward for the city to begin restoring the vitality of its largest economic center."
Writing in The New York Times, Keith Schneider profiles the Queen City's re-emergence "as a hub of civic and economic vitality." Noting the convergence of market trends such as the University of Cincinnati's growing prominence and energy industry investments for the city's economic strength, Schneider observes that the city, "is experiencing a strong revival in urban core business and residential growth, much of it prompted by development along a scenic river that state and federal water quality data show is cleaner and more ecologically vital."