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A Neighborhood's Controversial Return From the Brink

If you're in the mood for a long read, check out Politico Magazine's How Cincinnati Salvaged the Nation's Most Dangerous Neighborhood, a thoughtful article on the resurgence of Cincinnati's Over-The-Rhine (OTR) community. Long plagued by crime, vacancy and blight, the neighborhood now boasts trendy restaurants and cutting-edge tech and new media businesses.

A nonprofit econommic development corporation, Cincinnati Center City Development Corp (3CDC) is responsible for much of the turnaround. The article describes how 3CDC used a landbanking and block-by-block development strategy to clean up nuisance properties, attract new businesses and and restore historic buildings to grandeur.

Not everyone is enamored of the "new" OTR, however. Longtime residents and community activists quoted in the article describe how as deliberate campaign of gentrification has robbed the community of long-standing businesses on which residents depended, like corner stores and laundromats. The pricey shops and restaurants that replaced those businesses are not accessible to lower-income residents.

The article provides a useful look at the fine line we often must walk in community development, figuring out how redevelopment can lift up a community without displacing the residents who live there. There are no easy answers, but this piece is worth a read.

Posted in Cincinnati, Implementing, Commercial and Economic Development

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