The Hamilton County Planning Partnership began several years ago a series called the Sustainable Hamilton County “Reinventing Our Communities” workshops – which has altered its name to Greater Cincinnati.
Today’s workshop was about A More Connected Greater Cincinnati, with transit – all kinds of transit – front and center. The speaker, Jarrett Walker of Portland, started out by telling us that other cities in our region are not in our class – that Cleveland is not in our class – and that we should aspire to be the San Francisco of the Midwest! Our physical setting, our history, our smart investments over time – he is very impressed with us. That was a great start to the day.
His motto is freedom of choice and responsibility for those choices – and his application of those ideas to transit was eye-opening and positive. Other speakers included Kerstin Carr of the Mid-Ohio (based in Columbus) Regional Planning Commission, who brought a video about Complete Streets (which we’ve all learned about through our Form-Based Code work). She also emphasized that changing demographics are making big changes in policy.
The other speakers – Sharon Fusco of the Council on Aging, Lee Rose of E. W. Scripps Company, and Fred Craig of Parsons Brinckerhoff, all brought different pieces of the same positive messages to the group. One repeated message was the incremental change is fine – we don’t need to turn everything upside down all at once. Just deciding what’s important to us, and making a start will produce big change down the line. Since we’re already headed that way – let’s just keep on going.
The video of the day and the powerpoints presented will be up on their website soon. http://www.hamilton-co.org/hcrpc/shc/