In cooperation with developer Fifield Companies, Sarver and his firm have fleshed out a masterplan that calls for 10 million square feet of new office space in the West Loop in 10 years. The plan also calls for a 10-to-15-acre park covering the trench of the Kennedy Expressway, which forms a barrier between the West Loop and downtown. Alan Schachtman, executive vice president of Fifield, called this hypothetical green a Millennium Park for the West Loop.
The United Nations projects that 2.7 billion people will be living in cities across the world by 2050. What is the future course of cities in America? Historically Americans rejected the city for the suburbs after World War II, now a new generation of people are rejecting the suburbs for the city. Fomer Bogota mayor, Enrique Peñalosa offers his speculation on the future and what cities can do to prepare for it. More from Atlantic Cities:
If low-density suburbs are not desirable and a return to city life in the 1920s is not desirable either, then what should the future American city be like? It is a platitude to say that the new city should be designed for people, but over the past 90 years we have designed cities much more for the mobility of cars than for the well-being of people. Moreover, the best measure of a city’s quality is how good it is to its most vulnerable citizens—children, the elderly, the disabled, the poor—who often have no access to an automobile.
While ongoing sequestration has limited the federal governments ability to allocate much needed funding for the nations ailing infrastructure, the Obama administration rolled out a report touting the success of its Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) program. The program allocates funding to local governments by taking a holistic approach to the impacts of local development projects. The program, which can take on a multitude of urban issues however remains woefully underfunded. More from NextCity:
What Landrieu is diplomatically saying is that the federal government sometimes needed SC2 to shake money loose from its own agencies. That may sound absurd, but integrating the different programs so that each could try to make sure cities have jobs, affordable housing and safe mobility was a new goal when the Obama administration took office and starting pursuing it. The report demonstrates that SC2 is working at its primary goal of helping a handful of cities with some discrete projects.
On Friday, April 19, UrbanCincy partnered with the Niehoff Urban Studio and hosted an event that showcased student work and included expert analysis and discussion of urban mobility issues in Cincinnati.
Approximately 100 people showed up to the collaborative studio space in Corryville to view the student work, and learn more about the challenges facing Cincinnati today and in the future.
Metropolis & Mobility: Bus Rapid Transit and Bikeway Planning focused on five proposed bus rapid transit and three bikeway corridors throughout Cincinnati. Engineering and planning students were paired together in groups to examine the issues and propose implementation strategies for those potential projects.
Students examining bus rapid transit focused on the Reading Road, Downtown, Hamilton Avenue, Vine Street, and Montgomery Road corridors. The students studying bikeway planning, meanwhile, examined the Wasson Way and Western Riverfront Trail and Mill Creek Greenway.
Those who attended the event were also able to vote on their favorite project, which will then be profiled right here on UrbanCincy.com in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please enjoy the video put together on the Metropolis & Mobility event by our contributing videographer Andrew Stahlke.
As Amtrak has been recording record ridership on its core routes, federal budget belt-tightening has forced the transit agency to engage the states in cost-sharing measures for some of its smaller lines. However; this also serves an opportunity for some lines to be upgraded with enhanced infrastructure thus enabling some routes to operate at higher speeds. More from the New York Times:
The railroad has traditionally subsidized some local routes, while leaving others up to the states to support, but now state governments will have to pay for all local routes of less than 750 miles in a state. The Northeast line, Amtrak’s moneymaker, is not included. If all the states chip in, Amtrak officials expect revenue to increase by about $85 million a year, which would shrink its chronic deficit.
Last month the American Planning Association (APA) held its annual conference for planning professionals. The 2013 conference was held in Chicago and organizers made efforts to showcase planning efforts of The Second City.
The educational sessions at the conference are made up of presentations by planning officials across the country. A few of the sessions were hosted by Cincinnati Planning officials who highlighted some of Cincinnati’s recent planning successes.
Cincinnati and Hamilton County received a national award from the APA for the implementation of the Central Riverfront Master Plan and The Banks. Photograph by Randy Simes for UrbanCincy.
The plan was approved by the city in October 2012 and is the first long-term comprehensive planning vision of the city since 1980. The seminar also highlighted Cincinnati’s rich planning heritage as the city carries the noteworthy distinction of drafting the first ever city-wide comprehensive plan in the 1925 Master Plan. That plan, along with the 1907 Kessler Parks Plan, envisioned a walkable cityscape with an extensive parks system.
However, after World War II, the city drafted the 1948 Comprehensive Plan which proposed several highways and urban renewal projects. The 1948 plan was successfully implemented but instead of the promised revitalization of the city, the highway system and slum clearance policies supported by the plan drove the city’s population to the suburbs.
“The highway was unfortunately a successful implementation,” explained Gregory Dale from McBride Dale Clarion Associates, “Sixty years later we’re still trying to repair the damage.”
Presenters also highlighted how the Cincinnati’s Planning Department overcame the problems of being dissolved in 2002 and reconstituted in 2007.
“In some ways I think maybe if we had not been eliminated as a departments, maybe there would not be that strength today, maybe it wouldn’t have woken people up to see the importance of planning,” recalled Cincinnati Senior Planner Katherine Keough-Jurs.
She went on to say that she noticed the involvement and passion of participants in the new comprehensive plan was a positive sign that citizens were concerned about the future direction of the city. The citizen participation in the new plan highlighted residents desire for creating and reinvigorating walkable neighborhoods and commercial centers.
“The plan is unapologetically urban,” Keough-Jurs told session attendees,”In many ways our new comprehensive plan returns to the vision of the 1925 plan.”
At the conference the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County received an Excellence in Planning award from the APA for the implementation of the Central Riverfront Master Plan. That plan, which was first developed in the late 1990′s when the stadiums and Fort Washington Way were proposed for reconstruction envisioned a new mixed-use riverfront neighborhood called The Banks.
In 2011 the first phase of the mixed-use neighborhood opened to the public and the second phase is slated to begin construction this year.
The planning department’s most recent project, the adoption of the final draft of the form-based code is on City Council’s Livable Communities Committee Agenda today for their 1pm meeting.
The code was approved by the city’s Planning Commission on March 7. Once the code wins approval from the committee it will go on to the full council for a vote. The city’s planning department is looking to meet with the four demonstration neighborhoods – Walnut Hills, Westwood, Madisonville, College Hill – in the coming months to move forward with changes in the zoning map to implement the form-based code.
Last month President Obama choose outgoing Transpiration Secretary Ray LaHood’s (R) successor, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx (D). While Foxx has overseen the expansion of the city’s light rail line and championed its streetcar project he has also supported extensions for the regions highways. What does his eventual appointment mean for American cities looking to mitigate sprawl and increase transportation alternatives? More from NextCity:
When the news broke in January that LaHood would not serve a second term, a number of transit advocates fantasized that his position would go to a superstar like Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Instead, as our friends at Streetsblog have already pointed out, LaHood’s successor comes from a background indicating that he’ll support “giving people more transportation options without making much of an effort to rein in sprawl infrastructure.”