Episode #12: Cincinnati’s Form-Based Code

On the twelfth episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, Cincinnati’s Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls joins the UrbanCincy team to discuss the city’s adoption of a form-based code.

We discuss the advantages of a form-based code over a traditional zoning code, and Vice Mayor Qualls explains the process four Cincinnati neighborhoods (College Hill, Madisonville, Walnut Hills, Westwood) have used to put the code in place. John Yung shares his experiences with implementing a form-based code, and Randy Simes shares his concerns about needing to plan at a regional level.

We also discuss the now-adopted Plan Cincinnati, the city’s first comprehensive plan in 33 years. We discuss what makes Cincinnati’s comprehensive plan unique and how the plan will influence investments made by the city and  organizations like the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA).

Finally, we discuss how projects like the two-waying of Taft and McMillan Streets in Walnut Hills and a Liberty Street “road diet” could add to the livability of Cincinnati’s urban neighborhoods.

  • Personally as someone who crosses 3rd street daily to walk to work, I don’t believe that simply capping Fort Washington Way will create the kind of connection to the rest of the CBD that many people think. Both 3rd street and 2nd street are so wide in and of themselves that they create a similar barrier as Liberty. It’ll help not having highway traffic sounds screaming at you along the way but those are two massive streets.

    I agree that Liberty needs to be turned into more of a boulevard in order to encourage the development to move north. As Randy pointed out, it’s hard to get all the way across before the light starts flashing. Islands in the middle similar to Central Parkway would make it seem like less of a daunting task to cross it. I’m glad that the City recognizes this and hopefully by the time the development get far enough north they’ll have a plan to take action and keep the momentum going.