Posts tagged "Ohio"
dc.streetsblog.org
“Warning Signs From Columbus About America’s Big Suburban Housing Glut
Angie Schmitt. Jan 24, 2014
Columbus, Ohio, is a convenient microcosm of the United States as a whole.
Demographically, Columbus closely resembles America. That’s one reason the city ends up being a battleground for presidential candidates every four years, and why fast food chains like to test new menu items there.
Because Columbus is so, well, typical, the city also has a lot to teach us about where the average American city is headed. Esteemed urban affairs researcher Arthur C. Nelson recently took a look at Columbus as part of a report for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and he found that the city is on course for “sweeping demographic changes” that could transform the local housing market.”
Photo:  Richard Webner

dc.streetsblog.org

Warning Signs From Columbus About America’s Big Suburban Housing Glut

Angie Schmitt. Jan 24, 2014

Columbus, Ohio, is a convenient microcosm of the United States as a whole.

Demographically, Columbus closely resembles America. That’s one reason the city ends up being a battleground for presidential candidates every four years, and why fast food chains like to test new menu items there.

Because Columbus is so, well, typical, the city also has a lot to teach us about where the average American city is headed. Esteemed urban affairs researcher Arthur C. Nelson recently took a look at Columbus as part of a report for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and he found that the city is on course for “sweeping demographic changes” that could transform the local housing market.”

Photo:  Richard Webner

The Atlantic Cities:
 ”If You Build It, They Will Come: How Cleveland Lured Young Professionals Downtown
Sophie Quinton. Aug 2, 2013
When the Maron family decided to redevelop an entire city block in downtown Cleveland, the area was so blighted no restaurateur would lease space there. A decade later, the East Fourth neighborhood is home to Food Network personalities, a House of Blues, and free Saturday yoga classes. Café-style seating spills into the pedestrian-only street. Apartments on the block are fully leased, and a 100-unit building under construction across the street has already reached full capacity.
The success of East Fourth Street in once-struggling Cleveland was something few people would have anticipated 20 years ago. It took years of collaboration between developers, businesses, local institutions, and government, but today downtown Cleveland is taking off—and giving the old Rust Belt city a future. There wasn’t a market for urban living in Cleveland until developers like the Marons built places where young professionals would want to be.
"Employers are looking for fresh, vibrant urban environments," says Chris Warren, the city’s chief of regional development. "Cleveland needs to compete." Until recently, Cleveland was on the sidelines. The city’s population has dropped by one-third since 1950. Although Cleveland includes two neighborhoods that are among Ohio’s top five employment centers, tax revenues from incomes go primarily to the suburbs where most employees live. As recently as 2011, about one-third of city residents lived in poverty."

Photo: Downtown Cleveland Alliance
 
 

The Atlantic Cities:

 ”If You Build It, They Will Come: How Cleveland Lured Young Professionals Downtown

Sophie Quinton. Aug 2, 2013

When the Maron family decided to redevelop an entire city block in downtown Cleveland, the area was so blighted no restaurateur would lease space there. A decade later, the East Fourth neighborhood is home to Food Network personalities, a House of Blues, and free Saturday yoga classes. Café-style seating spills into the pedestrian-only street. Apartments on the block are fully leased, and a 100-unit building under construction across the street has already reached full capacity.

The success of East Fourth Street in once-struggling Cleveland was something few people would have anticipated 20 years ago. It took years of collaboration between developers, businesses, local institutions, and government, but today downtown Cleveland is taking off—and giving the old Rust Belt city a future. There wasn’t a market for urban living in Cleveland until developers like the Marons built places where young professionals would want to be.

"Employers are looking for fresh, vibrant urban environments," says Chris Warren, the city’s chief of regional development. "Cleveland needs to compete." Until recently, Cleveland was on the sidelines. The city’s population has dropped by one-third since 1950. Although Cleveland includes two neighborhoods that are among Ohio’s top five employment centers, tax revenues from incomes go primarily to the suburbs where most employees live. As recently as 2011, about one-third of city residents lived in poverty."

Photo: Downtown Cleveland Alliance

 

 

“The Plain Dealer:
Cleveland is slowly becoming a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly town
Steven Litt. March 10, 2013
With little fanfare, Cleveland is undergoing a revolution in attitudes toward public space, city streets and walkability.
This has been a car town for decades, but that’s changing now.
After pitched battles among activists, trucking interests and the Ohio Department of Transportation over the past decade, dedicated bike paths have been installed on the Detroit-Superior andLorain-Carnegie bridges.
Regional trails are weaving their way into the industrial Flats alongside the Cuyahoga River and are within striking distance of the lakefront.
Mayor Frank Jackson wants the big new investments downtown, including the casino, the new convention center and the Global Center for Health Innovation, aka the medical mart, to be accompanied by beautiful new landscaping on Public Square and the downtown Mall.
None of this was happening 10 years ago, and it could not have happened until fairly recently. Civic and business leaders weren’t interested.”
Photo: John Kuntz, The Plain Dealer

The Plain Dealer:

Cleveland is slowly becoming a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly town

Steven Litt. March 10, 2013

With little fanfare, Cleveland is undergoing a revolution in attitudes toward public space, city streets and walkability.

This has been a car town for decades, but that’s changing now.

After pitched battles among activists, trucking interests and the Ohio Department of Transportation over the past decade, dedicated bike paths have been installed on the Detroit-Superior andLorain-Carnegie bridges.

Regional trails are weaving their way into the industrial Flats alongside the Cuyahoga River and are within striking distance of the lakefront.

Mayor Frank Jackson wants the big new investments downtown, including the casino, the new convention center and the Global Center for Health Innovation, aka the medical mart, to be accompanied by beautiful new landscaping on Public Square and the downtown Mall.

None of this was happening 10 years ago, and it could not have happened until fairly recently. Civic and business leaders weren’t interested.”

Photo: John Kuntz, The Plain Dealer

The Atlantic Cities: 
"Defending Youngstown: One City’s Struggle to Shrink and Flourish
Daniel Denvir. Jan 31, 2013.
Progress is measured by the bulldozer’s pace in Youngstown. The hobbled Ohio steel giant has lost more than 100,000 residents since the 1950s and has been racing to tear down the now dilapidated homes jobless workers left behind.
The city has demolished at least 2,566 structures since January 2006 and is constantly seeking new funds—from the stimulus, from the multi-billion dollar state attorneys general settlement with misbehaving mortgage servicers, and now, perhaps, from leasing the city’s land for natural gas drilling, or fracking—to knock down more. Many homes, however, fall to arson first. It is a way to cash in on insurance, or for scrappers to steal copper wiring and plumbing. Or, sometimes, it’s just the pyromaniac ennui born of unemployment and nihilism.
“We have guys,” says local activist Phil Kidd, my guide through the city’s pockmarked streets, “who are caught and say, ‘I like watching houses burn; I like the lawlessness of it. I wanted to see how long I could get away with it.”
Firefighters have even suggested that neighbors might set some ablaze, eager to see a long-decaying vacant structure prioritized for demolition. Arsonists torched 158 houses in 2005 alone.

Transforming this decaying tableau was at the heart of an ambitious plan called Youngstown 2010, implemented in 2005, set to retrofit a city built for more than 200,000 for the much smaller city of today. In a sober inversion of traditional civic boosterism, city leaders and community organizers set their sights on small.
Kidd imagines a more ecologically in-tune metropolis, a “rurban” post-industrial city interspersing large-scale urban farms and forest amid neighborhoods targeted for density. Knocking down the blight must come first.”
Photo: Sean Posey

The Atlantic Cities: 

"Defending Youngstown: One City’s Struggle to Shrink and Flourish

Daniel Denvir. Jan 31, 2013.

Progress is measured by the bulldozer’s pace in Youngstown. The hobbled Ohio steel giant has lost more than 100,000 residents since the 1950s and has been racing to tear down the now dilapidated homes jobless workers left behind.

The city has demolished at least 2,566 structures since January 2006 and is constantly seeking new funds—from the stimulus, from the multi-billion dollar state attorneys general settlement with misbehaving mortgage servicers, and now, perhaps, from leasing the city’s land for natural gas drilling, or fracking—to knock down more. Many homes, however, fall to arson first. It is a way to cash in on insurance, or for scrappers to steal copper wiring and plumbing. Or, sometimes, it’s just the pyromaniac ennui born of unemployment and nihilism.

“We have guys,” says local activist Phil Kidd, my guide through the city’s pockmarked streets, “who are caught and say, ‘I like watching houses burn; I like the lawlessness of it. I wanted to see how long I could get away with it.”

Firefighters have even suggested that neighbors might set some ablaze, eager to see a long-decaying vacant structure prioritized for demolition. Arsonists torched 158 houses in 2005 alone.

Transforming this decaying tableau was at the heart of an ambitious plan called Youngstown 2010, implemented in 2005, set to retrofit a city built for more than 200,000 for the much smaller city of today. In a sober inversion of traditional civic boosterism, city leaders and community organizers set their sights on small.

Kidd imagines a more ecologically in-tune metropolis, a “rurban” post-industrial city interspersing large-scale urban farms and forest amid neighborhoods targeted for density. Knocking down the blight must come first.”

Photo: Sean Posey

“A Housing Project Upgrade Done Right
Kaid Benfield. Sept 17, 2012
Lincoln Heights, Ohio, is about a dozen miles north of Cincinnati. It contains around 4,500 residents, 98 percent of them African-American. In fact, according to a community website, it was the first self-governing African American community north of the Mason-Dixon Line and at one time the largest. But household income is low, and only about a third of the town’s single-family homes are owner-occupied.
What I will write here is really a set-up for the evocative video below. It shows the story of Valley Homes, a cooperatively owned housing project built in Lincoln Heights in 1942 that had become badly deteriorated, because mounting needed repairs to buildings that had been poorly constructed in the first place had become too numerous and too expensive for its low-income owners to undertake. In 2005, the property fell into receivership and two years later a task force was appointed to search for a permanent solution. The details of what happened over the next few years and the evolution of the project’s ownership and financial structure are complex. 
But high on the list of task force goals were new senior housing and allowing current residents to stay. Eventually the old buildings were condemned and torn down, and the group selected a development firm named the Model Group to redevelop the site. The good news is that Valley Homes has now been replaced with a mix of updated and affordable housing types called Villas of the Valley, and the site is once again serving the community. Jay Springer elaborates onCincinnati.com:

The redevelopment of the site was identified as a top community priority in the Lincoln Heights Urban Renewal Plan and Revitalization Strategy of 2001. Model Group worked closely with the residents of the Valley Homes Redevelopment Task Force and the Lincoln Heights Planning Commission to develop designs appropriate and sensitive to the surrounding community. This development included the demolition of functionally obsolete, dilapidated housing and the construction of 42 new ranch-style, detached senior cottages, 35 two-story, attached rental units, and 4 single-family detached homes. Model Group’s effort to incorporate community feedback combined with key members of the Planning Commission publicly championing the project resulted in a transformational development for the Village of Lincoln Heights.

The new development also includes a community center. 
The change is certainly impressive and, in some respects, green. But it is not perfect: from the perspective of smart growth and city planning ideals, one can certainly find fault with the new neighborhood, which took a step back by replacing part of the traditional street grid with cul-de-sacs, and constructed fewer homes than the site once contained. I’m particularly disappointed that parts of the development appear even to lack sidewalks. But this is not a major transit-oriented, affordable and mixed-use showcase with the impressive scale and urban detail of, say, Denver’s remarkable South Lincoln transformation. (It also hasn’t enjoyed the focus and assistance of multiple federal agencies, as has that project.) Nor does it contain the sparkling green ambition of, for example, Seattle’s High Point. The financing appears to have been challenging, to say the least.
No, this is a much smaller and more modest project, but one no less important to its community and certainly no less significant to its residents, whose lives it has vastly improved. You would have to be blind not to see the dramatic improvement. It looks terrific to my eye, suggesting some of the first, more densely populated inner suburbs” 
Via: The Atlantic Cities
Photo: The Model Group

A Housing Project Upgrade Done Right

Kaid Benfield. Sept 17, 2012

Lincoln Heights, Ohio, is about a dozen miles north of Cincinnati. It contains around 4,500 residents, 98 percent of them African-American. In fact, according to a community website, it was the first self-governing African American community north of the Mason-Dixon Line and at one time the largest. But household income is low, and only about a third of the town’s single-family homes are owner-occupied.

What I will write here is really a set-up for the evocative video below. It shows the story of Valley Homes, a cooperatively owned housing project built in Lincoln Heights in 1942 that had become badly deteriorated, because mounting needed repairs to buildings that had been poorly constructed in the first place had become too numerous and too expensive for its low-income owners to undertake. In 2005, the property fell into receivership and two years later a task force was appointed to search for a permanent solution. The details of what happened over the next few years and the evolution of the project’s ownership and financial structure are complex. 

But high on the list of task force goals were new senior housing and allowing current residents to stay. Eventually the old buildings were condemned and torn down, and the group selected a development firm named the Model Group to redevelop the site. The good news is that Valley Homes has now been replaced with a mix of updated and affordable housing types called Villas of the Valley, and the site is once again serving the community. Jay Springer elaborates onCincinnati.com:

The redevelopment of the site was identified as a top community priority in the Lincoln Heights Urban Renewal Plan and Revitalization Strategy of 2001. Model Group worked closely with the residents of the Valley Homes Redevelopment Task Force and the Lincoln Heights Planning Commission to develop designs appropriate and sensitive to the surrounding community. This development included the demolition of functionally obsolete, dilapidated housing and the construction of 42 new ranch-style, detached senior cottages, 35 two-story, attached rental units, and 4 single-family detached homes. 

Model Group’s effort to incorporate community feedback combined with key members of the Planning Commission publicly championing the project resulted in a transformational development for the Village of Lincoln Heights.

The new development also includes a community center. 

The change is certainly impressive and, in some respects, green. But it is not perfect: from the perspective of smart growth and city planning ideals, one can certainly find fault with the new neighborhood, which took a step back by replacing part of the traditional street grid with cul-de-sacs, and constructed fewer homes than the site once contained. I’m particularly disappointed that parts of the development appear even to lack sidewalks. But this is not a major transit-oriented, affordable and mixed-use showcase with the impressive scale and urban detail of, say, Denver’s remarkable South Lincoln transformation. (It also hasn’t enjoyed the focus and assistance of multiple federal agencies, as has that project.) Nor does it contain the sparkling green ambition of, for example, Seattle’s High Point. The financing appears to have been challenging, to say the least.

No, this is a much smaller and more modest project, but one no less important to its community and certainly no less significant to its residents, whose lives it has vastly improved. You would have to be blind not to see the dramatic improvement. It looks terrific to my eye, suggesting some of the first, more densely populated inner suburbs” 

Via: The Atlantic Cities

Photo: The Model Group

" Cleveland: Building Public Support With Pop-up Cycling Infrastructure


Angie Schmitt. June 4, 2012

Decisions about cycling infrastructure don’t really come down to money, or technical knowhow, or even the availability of street space. Ultimately, if you establish community consent and political will to make streets safe for cycling, the rest will follow.

Here’s an interesting method to build the needed support: pop-up cycling infrastructure. This exercise in tactical urbanism was recently undertaken by a group of graduate students in Cleveland, Ohio. For one week, a downtown street was converted to a two-way cycle track — the first ever on Cleveland streets.

Cleveland is especially ready for pop-up cycling infrastructure. The city recently adopted a complete streets ordinance, and what better illustration for city staff, as well as the general public, than a live demonstration of the desired outcome. Network blog Bike Lane Living shared the above video, as well as this account from the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Center, which led the project, about the lessons that came out of the one-week experiment:

Going beyond two-dimensional drawings used in typical public meetings, Pop Up Rockwell allows people to physically experience a future vision of the city in three dimensions, in a real environment, and provide feedback before large financial and political investments are made.

The project is led by graduate students at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, but involves partnership with several stakeholder groups representing advocacy organizations, non-profits, municipal government, federal agencies and local businesses. The temporary installations include Cleveland’s first cycle track, storm water bio-filtration benches, enhanced transit waiting areas and wind animated public art. Lessons learned from the short-term project may influence permanent changes, which support the City of Cleveland’s Complete & Green Streets Ordinance.

Those involved with the project say many of the surrounding businesses are now advocating for the cycle track to be made a permanent part of the streetscape.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Extraordinary Observations points out that gas really isn’t that expensive, compared with some of the other major costs of car ownership. Reno Rambler shares the inventive way (public shaming) a Russian organization is targeting people who park illegally in bike lanes and on sidewalks. And the Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition ponders its home state’s 39th-place finish in the League of American Bicyclists’ bike-friendly state rankings.”

Via: Streetsblog

Video: KSU CUDC

“The Triumph of Cincinnati’s Center City Plan
John Yung. June 4, 2012
Cincinnati was a different place ten years ago. It was a city still reeling from the destruction left behind by the civil unrest in 2001, and had a downtown in decline with retailers closing up shop and office vacancies soaring. The Banks project was regarded as a pipe dream, a field of mud between the elevated islands of sports stadiums and a lonely museum overlooking construction on the opposite side of the Ohio River.
Over-the-Rhine was a different place ten years ago as well. The corner of Twelfth and Vine Street consistently rated as the most dangerous in the city. Block after block of boarded buildings stood silently as echoes of an era time forgot. This was Cincinnati’s center city, a dried up husk of its former glory where redevelopment projects stalled and floundered and everyone returned home before dusk.
My, how far things have come.
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.
There is a saying that it takes a village, but in this case, it took a plan to change the area’s trajectory.

The Center City Plan as conceived in 2002 by consultants as a report to the city’s Economic Development Task Force. 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.
“The Economic Development Taskforce was a public-private partnership that looked at how the city could thrive,” City Spokesperson, Meg Olberding, explained. “The task force laid out a structure whereby the public and private sectors each have their role, but must work together.”

The task force made 23 recommendations, in total, including the creation of a one-stop permit shop, establishment of the Port Authority as an economic development agency, and the formation of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).
City officials and 3CDC were tasked with making the goals laid out in the Center City Plan a reality. In particular, the plan detailed four initiatives aimed at restoring vitality.
Redevelop Fountain Square: The plan recommended that the city, “transform Fountain Square into the city’s retail, cultural and civic heart”. Consolidation of retail at street level and creation of an attractive public space went into the redesign of the square. The removal of pedestrian skywalks also seen as a way to focus pedestrian activity on the street.
Revitalize Over-the-Rhine: With regards to Over-the-Rhine the plan said, “Without intensive focus on Over-the-Rhine, efforts in the center city will be wasted.” Starting with a focus on the Vine Street corridor as the primary retail corridor, the plan envisioned a catalytic development agency spurring redevelopment along Vine Street in the historic neighborhood. The plan was to start at Central Parkway and work north towards Liberty Street.
Build the Banks: The plan initially tasked the agency that would become 3CDC with the mission of building The Banks project. Years later the project moved forward under a steering committee to overcome conflicts that arose from the various parties involved in the riverfront redevelopment.
Restore Washington Park: It was recommended that the city, “Implement a comprehensive development strategy to make Washington Park a civic treasurer.”
Of the many recommendations that stem from the Center City Plan, nearly all of them have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented today. The success of the plan, and those implementing it, can be seen every time a new project breaks ground, a new business opens shop, or a new cultural attraction takes root.
Other less visible accomplishments can be credited to the implementation of the other recommendations of the Economic Development Task Force such as the evolving direction of the Port Authority, the Plan Build Live initiative, and the city’s revised marketing approach.
Olberding concluded that, “This has proven to be a winning strategy for the City and one that will be more and more important as we take Cincinnati to the next level of growth and opportunity.”
Via: UrbanCincy
Photo: Randy A. Simes for UrbanCincy

The Triumph of Cincinnati’s Center City Plan

John Yung. June 4, 2012

Cincinnati was a different place ten years ago. It was a city still reeling from the destruction left behind by the civil unrest in 2001, and had a downtown in decline with retailers closing up shop and office vacancies soaring. The Banks project was regarded as a pipe dream, a field of mud between the elevated islands of sports stadiums and a lonely museum overlooking construction on the opposite side of the Ohio River.

Over-the-Rhine was a different place ten years ago as well. The corner of Twelfth and Vine Street consistently rated as the most dangerous in the city. Block after block of boarded buildings stood silently as echoes of an era time forgot. This was Cincinnati’s center city, a dried up husk of its former glory where redevelopment projects stalled and floundered and everyone returned home before dusk.

My, how far things have come.

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.

There is a saying that it takes a village, but in this case, it took a plan to change the area’s trajectory.

The Center City Plan as conceived in 2002 by consultants as a report to the city’s Economic Development Task Force. 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.

“The Economic Development Taskforce was a public-private partnership that looked at how the city could thrive,” City Spokesperson, Meg Olberding, explained. “The task force laid out a structure whereby the public and private sectors each have their role, but must work together.”

The task force made 23 recommendations, in total, including the creation of a one-stop permit shop, establishment of the Port Authority as an economic development agency, and the formation of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).

City officials and 3CDC were tasked with making the goals laid out in the Center City Plan a reality. In particular, the plan detailed four initiatives aimed at restoring vitality.

Redevelop Fountain Square: The plan recommended that the city, “transform Fountain Square into the city’s retail, cultural and civic heart”. Consolidation of retail at street level and creation of an attractive public space went into the redesign of the square. The removal of pedestrian skywalks also seen as a way to focus pedestrian activity on the street.

Revitalize Over-the-Rhine: With regards to Over-the-Rhine the plan said, “Without intensive focus on Over-the-Rhine, efforts in the center city will be wasted.” Starting with a focus on the Vine Street corridor as the primary retail corridor, the plan envisioned a catalytic development agency spurring redevelopment along Vine Street in the historic neighborhood. The plan was to start at Central Parkway and work north towards Liberty Street.

Build the Banks: The plan initially tasked the agency that would become 3CDC with the mission of building The Banks project. Years later the project moved forward under a steering committee to overcome conflicts that arose from the various parties involved in the riverfront redevelopment.

Restore Washington Park: It was recommended that the city, “Implement a comprehensive development strategy to make Washington Park a civic treasurer.”

Of the many recommendations that stem from the Center City Plan, nearly all of them have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented today. The success of the plan, and those implementing it, can be seen every time a new project breaks ground, a new business opens shop, or a new cultural attraction takes root.

Other less visible accomplishments can be credited to the implementation of the other recommendations of the Economic Development Task Force such as the evolving direction of the Port Authority, the Plan Build Live initiative, and the city’s revised marketing approach.

Olberding concluded that, “This has proven to be a winning strategy for the City and one that will be more and more important as we take Cincinnati to the next level of growth and opportunity.”

Via: UrbanCincy

Photo: Randy A. Simes for UrbanCincy

"RAILVOLUTION! Cincinnati plans for more streetcars while constructing its first route.
Steven Vance. June 1, 2012
In his seventh State of the City address on April 10, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory talked about the streetcar the city had started building in February, introducing the subject with, “And you all know that I could not let you out of here tonight without talking about the streetcar.” Mallory linked the streetcar creation to a strategy to help the city thrive. He also laid out a vision for a much larger rail transit system.
Building the first line took persistence. Hamilton County voters rejected a proposed plan for improved and expanded transit in 2002. Then ballots in 2009 and 2011 tried to block the city from building streetcars. Both failed.
Part of the city’s marketing message for the rail network is that the streetcar system will attract new businesses. An economic development study the city commissioned found that property values would be greater and emissions and pollution reduced. The study also found savings in congestion and reductions in crashes when people choose to take a streetcar over their personal automobiles.

The city government is leading the planning and construction of the streetcar system, and Metro, the local transit agency, will operate it. The route will reach from downtown to Over-The-Rhine Historic District, making 18 stops in its roundtrip journey. The construction costs are estimated to be $99.5 million plus utility relocation. A fare price hasn’t been determined.

The April speech brought more specifics: Mallory announced that the city selected CAF USA to design and manufacture the trains and showed renderings of the proposed design. Attractive trains aren’t the only outcome of a good transit system. Mobility and connections are key, so Mallory described a second route in Uptown, for which the city is seeking $1.2 million in federal New Starts funds for a study.

The city’s vision doesn’t end with light rail. Mallory mentioned using light rail alongside two highways and commuter rail (faster trains covering longer distances) for other corridors. These efforts will require regional cooperation, said Meg Olberding, spokesperson in the city manager’s office. “The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments has long-range planning tools and would pull together our partners, including Hamilton County, Metro, and the state and federal Departments of Transportation.”
Though Ohio Governor John Kasich refused federal funds to plan for and construct high-speed rail lines in the state, Mallory will push forward: “I do not believe that we should give up on the idea of high-speed rail in this state.”
Via: The Architect’s Newspaper
Image: City of Cinncinati

"RAILVOLUTION! Cincinnati plans for more streetcars while constructing its first route.

Steven Vance. June 1, 2012

In his seventh State of the City address on April 10, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory talked about the streetcar the city had started building in February, introducing the subject with, “And you all know that I could not let you out of here tonight without talking about the streetcar.” Mallory linked the streetcar creation to a strategy to help the city thrive. He also laid out a vision for a much larger rail transit system.

Building the first line took persistence. Hamilton County voters rejected a proposed plan for improved and expanded transit in 2002. Then ballots in 2009 and 2011 tried to block the city from building streetcars. Both failed.

Part of the city’s marketing message for the rail network is that the streetcar system will attract new businesses. An economic development study the city commissioned found that property values would be greater and emissions and pollution reduced. The study also found savings in congestion and reductions in crashes when people choose to take a streetcar over their personal automobiles.

The city government is leading the planning and construction of the streetcar system, and Metro, the local transit agency, will operate it. The route will reach from downtown to Over-The-Rhine Historic District, making 18 stops in its roundtrip journey. The construction costs are estimated to be $99.5 million plus utility relocation. A fare price hasn’t been determined.

The April speech brought more specifics: Mallory announced that the city selected CAF USA to design and manufacture the trains and showed renderings of the proposed design. Attractive trains aren’t the only outcome of a good transit system. Mobility and connections are key, so Mallory described a second route in Uptown, for which the city is seeking $1.2 million in federal New Starts funds for a study.

The city’s vision doesn’t end with light rail. Mallory mentioned using light rail alongside two highways and commuter rail (faster trains covering longer distances) for other corridors. These efforts will require regional cooperation, said Meg Olberding, spokesperson in the city manager’s office. “The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments has long-range planning tools and would pull together our partners, including Hamilton County, Metro, and the state and federal Departments of Transportation.”

Though Ohio Governor John Kasich refused federal funds to plan for and construct high-speed rail lines in the state, Mallory will push forward: “I do not believe that we should give up on the idea of high-speed rail in this state.”

Via: The Architect’s Newspaper

Image: City of Cinncinati

“ EDITORIAL> GETTING IT RIGHT IN THE QUEEN CITY
Alan G. Brake. May 11, 2012
America has a deep-seated anti-urban streak, which happens to dovetail, in the eyes of many, with a mistrust of government at every level. The Republican presidential primary has flared with anti-urban rhetoric, which is particularly shortsighted given the still-weak state of the economy, one in which urban areas are bouncing back faster than their rural and exurban counterparts. That cities are the country’s economic engine seems obvious almost to the point of being self-evident, so why is it still seen as politically advantageous to denigrate urban areas? And why are urbanists so bad at making the case for cities with the public?
Meet Cincinnati Mayor Mark Malloy. His mid-sized city is currently engaged in building three important, interconnected urban projects, which could bring a real spark to downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. One project will create a new mixed-use neighborhood in between the city’s riverfront stadiums, along with a generous new waterfront park. The first phase of the Banks, as it is called, is complete and the second is breaking ground within the month. The latter is a coordinated redevelopment—including renovation and new construction—of a large piece of the Over the Rhine neighborhood, just north of downtown. The third, and arguably most important, project is a long-planned and hotly contested streetcar line connecting both areas with downtown in between.
And Cincinnati is no bastion of progressive urbanism. It has long been plagued with a history of racial strife, white flight, and purse strings controlled by wealthy, exclusionary suburbs.
Malloy has been extremely effective in making the economic case for these developments as a necessary strategy for Cincinnati’s competitiveness. 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.”
Malloy is making the case for Cincinnati’s urbanity, for its cityness, as a competitive advantage, something that many small and midsized cities have long scorned. He has put public space, place making, and mixed-use development at the center of his mayoral agenda. And he makes the case that it’s not downtown versus neighborhoods or city versus suburbs, but that an integrated, economically dynamic region only thrives when the center really holds.”
Via: The Architects Newspaper
Photo: AERIAL VIEW OF CINCINNATI’S WATERFRONT SHOWING THE BANKS REDEVELOPMENT ALONG THE OHIO RIVER. COURTESY CASTELLI MANAGEMENT

EDITORIAL> GETTING IT RIGHT IN THE QUEEN CITY

Alan G. Brake. May 11, 2012

America has a deep-seated anti-urban streak, which happens to dovetail, in the eyes of many, with a mistrust of government at every level. The Republican presidential primary has flared with anti-urban rhetoric, which is particularly shortsighted given the still-weak state of the economy, one in which urban areas are bouncing back faster than their rural and exurban counterparts. That cities are the country’s economic engine seems obvious almost to the point of being self-evident, so why is it still seen as politically advantageous to denigrate urban areas? And why are urbanists so bad at making the case for cities with the public?

Meet Cincinnati Mayor Mark Malloy. His mid-sized city is currently engaged in building three important, interconnected urban projects, which could bring a real spark to downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. One project will create a new mixed-use neighborhood in between the city’s riverfront stadiums, along with a generous new waterfront park. The first phase of the Banks, as it is called, is complete and the second is breaking ground within the month. The latter is a coordinated redevelopment—including renovation and new construction—of a large piece of the Over the Rhine neighborhood, just north of downtown. The third, and arguably most important, project is a long-planned and hotly contested streetcar line connecting both areas with downtown in between.

And Cincinnati is no bastion of progressive urbanism. It has long been plagued with a history of racial strife, white flight, and purse strings controlled by wealthy, exclusionary suburbs.

Malloy has been extremely effective in making the economic case for these developments as a necessary strategy for Cincinnati’s competitiveness. 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.”

Malloy is making the case for Cincinnati’s urbanity, for its cityness, as a competitive advantage, something that many small and midsized cities have long scorned. He has put public space, place making, and mixed-use development at the center of his mayoral agenda. And he makes the case that it’s not downtown versus neighborhoods or city versus suburbs, but that an integrated, economically dynamic region only thrives when the center really holds.”

Via: The Architects Newspaper

Photo: AERIAL VIEW OF CINCINNATI’S WATERFRONT SHOWING THE BANKS REDEVELOPMENT ALONG THE OHIO RIVER. COURTESY CASTELLI MANAGEMENT

Architectural + Urban Research

Mass Urban is a multidisciplinary design-research initiative concerned with contemporary cities and urbanism. Mass Urban was co-founded in April 2011 by David Lee and Cliff Lau.

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