The New Urban Century

From the beginnings of civilization around 4000 B.C., man has lived a predominately rural life. Cities were the wellsprings of arts, culture, science, et. al., but the majority of people still lived in rural areas. Recently, or in the very near future, more people will live in urban areas that rural areas Although some demographers predicted that this event happened in 1994, the 21st century will be mankind’s first urban century.

The mega cities of the 21st century in the developing world must seem as frightening and chaotic to the casual American observer as the burgeoning American cities of the 19th and early 20th centuries did to the European observer.

Regardless, the next century will be one unlike any others we have seen. There will be new challenges around the world, new issues, and new developments.

Too often Americans take a Amero-centric or Euro-centric view on urbanism. This overlooks some of the world’s largest and all of the world’s fastest growing megalopoli. The City Mayor’s website takes a global perspective on running the world’s cities and provides a wealth of information on best practices throughout the world. The future will be very different, hopefully information like this will make us better prepared.

News Politics Transportation

Ohio Hub Plan Advocacy

Like the idea of regional rail transportation in Ohio? Well there are a few things you could do to be more impactful when it comes to making this goal a reality.

All Aboard Ohio is the statewide advocacy group for regional high-speed rail, and they have now introduced a new online petition. Their goal with this is to, “forward the link to this online petition to every email address in Ohio leading up to our LegislativeSummit on April 30th.” Primarily what they’re advocating for is the development of the Ohio Hub Plan.

Another thing you could do is write letters to your congressional representative and/or your related member in Senate. We need to bind together and work towards accomplishing this goal. Sign the petition, it literally takes about 30 seconds.

Image Credit:
Ohio Department of Transportation
Business Development News Politics

Cincinnati is ready to GO

The Growth & Opportunities Survey for the City of Cincinnati (aka GoCincinnati) has finally been released – all 98 pages of it. I will venture to say that the majority of people will not read the report, and if you do, it will probably consist of skimming…so I have taken the liberty of reading it for you, and here is my report on GoCincinnati.

The report seems to offer a two-fold solution. First, the City should focus on its strengths (i.e. walkable communities, urban areas, culture, etc) for mid/long-term growth strategies. Secondly, the City needs to eliminate the edge that currently exists for suburban communities over the city in attracting office/retail/residential growth.

The analysis is overall not flattering, but does report a stable industrial market that is holding strong against regional competition…and that with a little more attention could easily establish itself as the premier industrial market for a couple of categories (i.e. Flex/R&D space and Green Industrial Parks). There are currently only 18 green industrial parks in the nation, and the potential of turning Queensgate into one poses possibly the greatest opportunity, and the ability to position Cincinnati as, “a global leader in ‘green development’ via the rehabilitation of these spaces.” (pg. 34)

The report also places a large emphasis on creating a multi-modal transportation system…which can be started with the streetcar proposal. The report states, “It is strongly recommended that the streetcar line be completed between Downtown, Uptown, and OTR in the 1st phase of its construction. There is probably no infrastructure investment that will have more long-term tax generation and economic development benefit to the city than this streetcar line.” (pg. 40)
Another key area of emphasis is on converting obsolete office space, in the CBD, into non-office uses…primarily in the form of residential spaces. This would allow for rates to creep up and possibly create demand for new speculative office construction, additionally it would inject even more people into the center city.

One final key note of mine was the recommendation of a joint Cincinnati and Hamilton County development authority. The report proposes that it be called the Cincinnati USA Development Authority (CUDA). It is recommended that the operations of the Port Authority be expanded to include all of the city/county. It also noted that this expansion, of the Port Authority, has already begun during this report process.

For any more information you’ll just have to read the report yourself…it’s good for you. All in all, I find this to be fantastically informative and well done. This is something that Cincinnati should really embrace and attempt to position itself strategically for economic and population growth.

Full Report (PDF 4.97mb)

Image Credit:


Recycle Cincinnati

The City of Cincinnati has been working hard lately on improving the options for recycling in the city. One of the most recent efforts includes new recycling drop-off points throughout Downtown. Locations include the Main Library of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County on Ninth Street; the corner of Third and Butler streets; the corner of Third Street and Central Avenue; and the Cutter Street parking lot off Court Street. There is also a new recycling program for Bengals tailgating.

Did you also know that City of Cincinnati residents living in a single family home or an apartment building with less than 5 units can have a recycling bin delivered at no cost! You can request your bin by filling out an online form or by calling the City of Cincinnati at 591-6000.

In addition to these new locations to recycle the city also offers four drop-off locations for recycling. There are also a number of locations across Hamilton County that are drop-off points for residents.

Further Reading/Information:
Keep Cincinnati Beautiful
Live Green Cincinnati
Hamilton County Recycles
Cincinnati Freecycle