Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

No More Suburban Office Parks for Downtown Cincinnati

Cincinnati, a midsized river city in the generally anti-urban state of Ohio, is -- surprise! -- becoming a real leader in sustainable urban development. Work on the city's hard-won streetcar project is underway now, to the ire of the state's governor and the region's congressman.

false

But Mayor Mark Mallory and the city's well-informed urbanist community are continuously marching forward. Today, the city of Cincinnati is unveiling a new comprehensive plan for the city that promotes walkability and urban retail while discouraging massive parking lots. Randy Simes at UrbanCincy has this report:

“We will permeate our neighborhoods with compact, walkable mixed-use development, bikable streets and trails, and transit of all types (such as bus, light rail, bus rapid transit, light rail transit, streetcar/circulator vehicles, and passenger rail),” declares the Plan Cincinnati document. “The development of a Complete Streets policy and adoption of a form-based code are tools that will help reach this goal.”

The focus on a comprehensive urban approach is a bold diversion from Mayor Charlie Luken’s (D) administration which ultimately left the city without a Planning Department after a heated debate over whether to allow Vandercar Holdings to build a suburban-style development at what is now the Center of Cincinnati big-box development.

In the early 2000s, Vandercar had agreed to go along with Cincinnati’s Planning Department and build a mixed-use development on the site. Disagreements over the project led to a change of heart by the development team, and a strong reaction by both Mayor Luken and then City Manager Valerie Lemmie to dismantle the city’s planning department.

Compare that with Cleveland, which boasts the oldest zoning code in the United States, and has no plans to revise it. Thank you, Cincinnati, for demonstrating that even smaller cities in the Midwest can rise to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Hard Drive reports that Oregon drivers are consuming less gasoline, the lowest amount, in fact, in 50 years. Greater Greater Washington writes that reducing car dependence isn't anti-car, as so often charged -- it's common sense. And Urban Review STL says St. Louis's transit agency, Metrolink, has a tone-deaf approach to communicating about transit.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Disabled NYer’s are Victims of Gov. Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause

So many New Yorkers can’t use the closest subway station to their homes because they don't have an elevator. And Gov. Hochul just halted funding for 23 new lifts.

July 23, 2024

DOT Will Fast-Track Private Sidewalk E-Bike Charging Stations

The mayor announced a new sidewalk e-bike charging station initiative, along with progress on the e-bike battery swap program and more money to FDNY for educational outreach.

July 23, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines: LEGO Finally Gets It Edition

Streetsblog has had our issues with LEGO over the years, but we're willing to forgive. Plus other news.

July 23, 2024

Speeding Fuels Pedestrian Death Crisis As Council Stalls ‘Sammy’s Law’ Changes

Pedestrian fatalities were up 27 percent in the first six months of the year compared to 2023.

July 23, 2024

Bike Rack Saves Pedestrians in Crash on Busy Brooklyn Street

The white Hyundai involved in the crash has been nabbed 10 times by city speed- and red-light cameras since Oct. 10, 2023, city records show.

July 22, 2024
See all posts