Saturday, June 18, 2016

How Cincinnati transformed the "nation's most dangerous neighborhood"

My latest installment for Politico's "What Works" series on successful urban innovations is on how Cincinnati, Ohio transformed Over-the-Rhine -- a neighborhood that in 2009 was declared the nation's most dangerous -- into perhaps the most happening and sought after place in the city, and did so in the proverbial blink of an eye.

The controversial bit, as you'll read, is that the city accomplished this by outsourcing the problem to the corporate community, which funded and govern a private non-profit tasked with executing the neighborhood's rescue. That they've succeeded in turning the neighborhood around is undeniable and an extremely impressive feat. But have they avoided simply gentrifying Over-the-Rhine? Long-time residents aren't so sure.

Don't miss Mark Peterson's brilliant photo essay from Over-the-Rhine as well.

Thanks to Cincinnati's ABC affiliate, WCPO, for featuring the story on their Friday news cast, and to NBC affiliate WLWT for plugging it earlier that morning.

This is my fourth "What Works" piece as a POLITICO Magazine contributing editor. The others were on how Des Moines went from dull to cool; how Manchester, New Hampshire turned its vast 19th century millyard to spinning high-tech gold; and how Denver built its game-changing light rail system, only to discover its most powerful effects were not what they'd expected.

Where am I off to next? Hint: lots of mothballed ships.

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