Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Urbanism and OTR the details count.


I wanted to expand a bit about why urban centers need to take the "long view" of neighborhod planning. For areas like Over-the Rhine to come back it will take more than just restoration and redevelopment projects, there needs to be effective long range infrastructure planning as when the neighborhood is repopulated there will be new challenges of getting people from point A to B within the area.


Indianapolis has done a remarkable job on "Quality of Life" issues. They have developed an effective trail system. the most recent accomplishment is the early stages of the Cultural Trail. this ambitious project was designed, and funed privately and it points to what can be done. http://www.indyculturaltrail.org/ This project basically encourages people to explore their urban environement and Art is placed at various location throught out the trail which winds from the downtown business center through neighborhoods to connect to the Monon Trail http://www.indygreenways.org/monon/monon.htm a ten mile trail that connect indy with the suburbs to the North.

It is not unusual to see people biking to work from the burbs in summer. This is a positive trend in my view.
Cincinnati needs to start planning how to make Over the Rhine 'whole'. By that I mean bike trails Urban walking trails, thumbnail parks. There are plenty of vacant parcel in OTR that will make excellent thumbnail parks that could be maintained by neighborhood groups or Block clubs AT NO COST to the city. This would also assure that there will be green spaces within neighborhoods. It actually is a remarkable oportunity at this point before developers snap up every available lot to build Mid Rise buildings on. Serious thought and planning needs to go into this at a neighborhood level.

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