Episode #30: Looking Back at 2013 (Part 2)

U Square at The Loop

On the 30th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, we bring you the second half of our conversation looking back at 2013. In the first half our discussion, we talked about recent events surrounding the Cincinnati Streetcar.

In this second half, we discussed a variety of development projects across the region. We speculate on the future of the Uptown area, with new projects such as U Square, other housing and mixed-use developments, a demolition on UC’s campus, and the upcoming new interchange at Martin Luther King Boulevard. We also cover downtown projects such as the Dunnhumby Centre, the Tower Place and Pogue’s Garage redevelopments, and the mystery of Phase II of The Banks. Finally, we touch on Manhattan Harbor, Blue Ash Summit Park, The Kenwood Collection, and the new Brent Spence Bridge.

Aerial photography of U Square by Jake Mecklenborg for UrbanCincy.

  • matimal

    Predictions of the ‘virtualization’ of universities are just wrong. You don’t have to worry about Clifton real estate losing its value. While the disposition of university spending and resources is already changing substantially, don’t think that students, or employers, will suddenly cease to value the skills engaged in universities. In fact, the opposite is just as likely. That is, students will look for MORE interpersonal connection, MORE opportunities to become known by instructors, MORE opportunities to participate in seminars, MORE chances to do and present their own original work, MORE opportunities to network with fellow students and through focused academic programs and centers to find jobs. The same forces that are favoring the densification of many industries in city centers will be at work around universities. They may change greatly, but the ability to distinguish yourself from ‘cut-rate’ online courses that anyone can do will be powerful, and not just for the professional classes. Schools like UC and cities like Cincinnati are already relatively cheap bases of operation by global standards.

    • UC hit record enrollment a few years ago because there’s a high college-aged population right now. As that enrollment goes down, we’ll find out if developers have “overbuilt” the area with too much housing and retail.

      I’m not sure what impact online courses will have on physical campuses. Maybe people will continue to be drawn to urban campuses like UC and destination schools such as Miami University. Maybe the community campuses like UC Blue Ash and UC Clermont will suffer the most.

    • matimal

      Distinguishing your skills and experience from others in the job market and networking in an increasingly complex labor market will never lose their value. Universities supposedly exist for these very purposes. What are “destination schools,” by the way?

    • I guess by “destination schools,” I mean universities that people from outside the region would choose to attend. I don’t think Miami University is in danger of closing because of increased competition from online courses.

    • matimal

      13% of UC students are out of state. That’s higher that Berkeley. http://www.collegexpress.com/lists/list/percentage-of-out-of-state-students-at-public-universities/360/

    • I don’t think UC is particularly in danger either. Community colleges, however, could be.

    • matimal

      Community college students need the MOST guidance and support. They are the LEAST able to savvily navigate through an online world of seemingly unlimited choice and minimal feedback. Community colleges are already cheaper and tailor their instruction to particular groups of students. The recent drops in enrollment are at for-profit schools. I think the promise of cheap and easy online education is an illusion. You ALWAYS get what you pay for, whether you realize it or not. The social and institutional capital within universities is just too huge for society to be willing to walk away from.

    • I too am not totally sold on this theory yet. Obviously the cost of higher education has become a burden, but that is a problem we have defined and know how to fix. It is just a matter of political will at this point.

      I think universities play a large role in developing young adults in ways that extend far beyond the classroom. Networking opportunities, leadership roles, living on your own, and meeting people from diverse backgrounds are all important things that can only be achieved by the real-world college experience.

      I do tend to think that community colleges that aren’t focuses on trades will probably suffer long-term though.

    • matimal

      What do we know about fixing the cost of higher education? I didn’t realize that there was a broad consensus of agreement on this question.