Episode #33: Westwood Square

Westwood SquareOn the 33rd episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, John and Travis are joined by John Lewandowski, the Artistic & Executive Director for Madcap Puppets. We discuss the Westwood Square project that was designed as part of the city’s form-based code charrette process, and the new Madcap theatre that will be located at the new square.

For more information on form-based codes, you may want to listen to Episode 12 of The UrbanCincy Podcast, where we discussed the topic with then-Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls.


Month in Review – March 2014

The top news story in March 2014 was the arrival of Uber and Lyft in Cincinnati, as two of UrbanCincy’s top articles were focused on their services and what it means for the taxicab industry. Road and bike infrastructure were also in the news, along with a new historic preservation movement bringing people together to save several key buildings.

In case you missed any of them, here’s a look back at our five most popular stories from last month:

    1. Uber and Lyft to Soon Enter Cincinnati Market
      Two ‘ridesharing’ companies are moving into the Cincinnati market.
    2. VIDEO: Are ‘Protected Intersections’ the Next Bicycle Infrastructure Innovation?
      As Cincinnati works to expand its bicycling infrastructure with bike lanes and cycle tracks, we may need to include this one additional consideration.
    3. Uber Officials Credit Cincinnati’s Urban Revival, Tech Scene for their Arrival
      Uber used geolocation information to learn that there was “pent up demand” for their service in the Cincinnati area.
    4. Snow Accumulation Highlights Cincinnati’s Over-Engineered Streets through ‘Sneckdowns’
      Thanks to the large accumulation of snow on city streets this winter, it was easy to tell where roads are over-engineered.
    5. Cincinnati Preservation Collective Draws from Different Backgrounds to Save Buildings
      A new group is channeling their effort into saving five buildings of historic significance in Cincinnati.


Episode #32: Spring Update

Uber appOn the 32nd episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, Randy, John, and Travis cover a few local issues recently in the news.

We cover the launch of Lyft and Uber in Cincinnati and what it could mean for local cab companies. We also talk about the proposed renovation of Burnet Woods and several other Uptown developments. Finally, we talk about the opposition to tolls on the Brent Spence Bridge and whether the bridge can be built without that funding source.

New Workshops Hope to Assist Homebuyers Looking to Rehab in Over-the-Rhine

Aside from buying the latest condominiums available through 3CDC, owning a home in historic Over-the-Rhine can be a challenge. Many buildings that are not already occupied are typically abandoned and some are in dire condition of falling apart.

There have been plenty of people who have taken on the task to rehab abandoned buildings only to find that they may have taken on too much. The Over-the-Rhine Foundation is hoping that a new workshop will help those interested in rehabbing historic buildings make the connections, get the information and understand the potential challenges involved with such a process.

Beginning in April, the Over-the-Rhine Foundation is launching a series of three workshops geared towards addressing these challenges. Organizers say that boosting home ownership rates is one of the major goals of the foundation.

“We as a foundation are committed to revitalizing the diverse OTR neighborhood, and a key objective is building community by encouraging and promoting owner-occupied development,” Kevin Pape, President of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation, said in a prepared statement.

Pape says that the three-part series will begin with an overview of the scope of rehabbing property in the 19th century neighborhood. That first session will end with an optional walking tour of rehabbed properties, while the second and third sessions will provide a more in-depth look at the process of rehab and financing.

“These workshops will help individuals gain access to the resources, expertise, and development tools needed to ensure the success of their community investments,” Pape continued.

Registration for all three workshops is $35 until April 4, when the registration fee will then increase to $50. The sessions will take place at the Art Academy of Cincinnati (map) and will occur on Saturday, April 12, May 10 and June 14. Those interested can currently register on the Over-the-Rhine Foundation’s website.

All photographs by Travis Estell for UrbanCincy.

Month in Review – February 2014

Last month, four of UrbanCincy’s five top stories focused on transportation — from bikes to cars to subways. We also gave an update on the demolition of one the University of Cincinnati’s most iconic historic structures and explained why it had been neglected for the past decade. In case you missed any of them, here’s a look back at our five most popular stories from February 2014:

    1. Cincinnati Aims to Open Initial Phase of Bike Share System This Summer
      Contributor Eric Anspach provides an update on the Cincy B-Cycle bike share program which is expected to open this summer.
    2. The Abandonment of Cincinnati’s 1914 Subway and Rapid Transit Loop
      A new infographic illustrates which sections of Cincinnati’s Rapid Transit Loop were built, which parts were replaced by expressways, and which parts were planned but not built.
    3. The Best and Worst States in America for Transit Funding
      Data from the FTA’s National Transit Database shows that Ohio is one of the worst states in America for investing in public transportation, despite being one of the most densely populated.
    4. Eight-Point Plan for Fixing Cincinnati’s Broken Parking System
      Since 2010, UrbanCincy has been calling for reforms to fix Cincinnati’s parking system finances. In this latest editorial, we lay out an 8 point plan to upgrade the system and stabilize its finances.
    5. Decision from Board of Trustees More Than a Decade Ago Doomed Wilson Auditorium
      Our November 2013 post about two demolitions on UC’s campus generated a lot of interest. In this update, we explain how a decision made by the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees more than ten years ago led to the demolition of Wilson Auditorium late last year.


Episode #31: Technology & Transporation

Microsoft "Connector"On the 31st episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, Jake, John, and Travis cover a few issues at the intersection of transportation and technology.

We discuss the “Google bus” phenomenon in the Bay Area and speculate why some companies opt to run their own private shuttles, in contrast to companies like Amazon that help fund public transportation improvements. We also speculate on why some of these companies are choosing to maintain their headquarters in areas where many of their employees don’t prefer to live.

Finally, we discuss taxi alternatives like Uber and Lyft, which provide a more high-tech but less regulated way of getting around. We question whether driverless cars will ultimately disrupt both taxis and public transportation, and ponder their overall impact on urban areas.

Photo of Microsoft shuttle bus near Bellevue, Washington by Travis Estell.