The last weekend in April, and then on through the 2nd of May, was the Form-Based Code Charrette in Cincinnati.? Subtitle of the event was A New Approach to Building Community Character.? I loved every minute of it – and I was actually there nearly the entire time.
This gathering had been over 4 years in the making, and included over 700 Cincinnatians, working to figure out how best to support Cincinnati’s wonderful communities in creating and re-creating themselves to retain that distinctive flavor that distinguishes us one from the other.
The consultants to the project, experts from various parts of the country, were unanimous in their praise for what we have here in buildings, topography, design, and history.? When a top ec0nomist from Portland tells you his town has nothing like this, you are bowled over.? Or at least I was.
The opening, midway and closing presentations really kept us on top of what was going on.? The studio itself, on the 4th floor of 2 Centennial Plaza, had architects and planners drawing up the potential designs and transects while we all were watching.? And the three brown bag lunches – complete streets, urban retail, and economics were so informative that even us amateurs got the picture.
Next up, late summer or early fall, will be neighborhood charrettes including 4 of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods.? College Hill, Madisonville, Walnut Hills and Westwood have supported and pushed for this process for the last 4 years – and each came up with $10,000 of their own dollars to make that part of the process happen.
We know from what we’ve learned that neighborhoods can be economic engines on their own, given on street parking and using the wisdom we acquired during the charrette.? And that all of us together can really make Cincinnati, USA a global player and a joyful, beautiful and productive place to play.? Hooray!