Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, On the Verge

Cincinnati’s historic and very centrally located Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is poised to become one of America’s greatest revitalization stories, in the process creating a national exemplar of green, sustainable development. But a lot of things will need to happen in the right way for that ambitious vision to be realized, and there is plenty of potential for the opportunity to be missed or, worse, for it to go wrong in the doing.

The challenge will be to find enough capital, along with sensitive planners and builders, not just to do revitalization, but to do it in an inclusive way that respects the current residents, maintains affordability, respects the historic character of the building stock, and takes maximum advantage of green development practices. That’s a tall order, but one well worth pursuing.

Today I begin the first of a three-part series on Over-the-Rhine, with lots of photos and images, over at my NRDC blog. It’s hard to reproduce much of the content here but, If you’re interested in what I think is a fascinating story, please do check it out and let me know what you think.

Photo by Randy Simes,

Kaid Benfield is director for sustainable communities and smart growth at The Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC. He has his own blog on land development and community issues and enjoys contributing here, too, since there is so much common ground.


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