(The following article originally appeared in the Cincinnati Inquirer on November 8, 2013)
By Christopher B. Leinberger
I was the lead consultant, along with Jim McGraw of KMK Consulting, on the Go Cincinnati economic development strategy in 2008. While funded by the private sector under the auspices of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Go Cincinnati became the City Council-adopted economic strategy for the city’s future. The City, along with 3CDC, Port Authority, Museum Center at Union Terminal and others, are already implementing it.
Brookings and KMK found that Cincinnati’s major economic deficiency is the lack of walkable urban places with the housing and jobs required for the 21st century knowledge economy. The city was not playing as large a role in the regional economy since it was not focusing on the development of these high-density, mixed-use walkable urban places. The city is now fulfilling the Go Cincinnati strategy by successfully building walkable urban neighborhoods, such as Fountain Square, Uptown Coalition and Over-the-Rhine. But much more needs to be done.