Looking Back - and Forward - at the Citywide Urban Design Workshop
The dust has settled from the long-awaited Citywide Urban Design Workshop. Cincinnati communities, the Vice Mayor, City employees, and a raft of consultants worked toward it for four years and more, and now it feels a little like the let down on the day after Christmas...except there's plenty more to do!
If you want to help preserve and enhance your neighborhood's shape through form-based codes (and the 700-plus Cincinnatians who participated in the Urban Design Workshop, as well as any number who couldn't make it do), there are important opportunities yet this year. First, in early Fall, a rough draft of the citywide form-based code will start to circulate through the Planning Commission and Council, open for public comment. Next, also in early Fall, everyone's welcome in the four planned neighborhood-specific Urban Design Workshops, when Westwood, College Hill, Madisonville, and Walnut Hills will both set up their own form-based codes and inform the citywide regulations. After that, everyone will have a chance to comment on the final draft of the citywide form-based code. Even if you missed the Workshop, you can catch up by looking at the presentations and many other pieces in the Documents section of this website, and you can check out lots of pictures on the City Planning and Buildings Facebook Site.
City Planner Alex Peppers, project manager of the Citywide Urban Design Workshop, summed it up:
"The Citywide Urban Design Workshop was a successful 5-day long event in gathering public input to develop a new tool for regulating and guiding land development in our compact walkable areas in the City. As we move forward with drafting the Form-Based Code and getting it adopted, we will begin to engage the interested neighborhoods on a neighborhood-specific level, starting with four in the fall (College Hill, Madisonville, Walnut Hills, and Westwood). Following those neighborhoods, we will have a better understanding of how the Form-Based Code works in our City, and how we can implement it in other interested neighborhoods across Cincinnati."
Much sooner than that is the Neighborhood Summit, on May 19th, at the stunning new School for the Creative and Performing Arts, just south of Washington Park, between Central Parkway and 12th Street, from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. This annual event (held in the Cintas Center at Xavier University the past several years), is a chance for Cincinnatians to come together, watch presentations on ways to move their communities forward, and share their communities' concerns and hopes.
In fact, this is "prime time" for Cincinnatians to shape their city. Through the end of 2013, the City is working on what's called the "Land Development Code," a project to implement the comprehensive plan and pull together all the regulations affecting land development in Cincinnati and figure out how to make them both streamlined enough to encourage development, and ensure that it's the development Cincinnatians want. Finding out what sort of development Cincinnatians want is obviously a huge part of that, so there are many more opportunities for you to shape your city's future! There's one very important opportunity right in the upper-left of your browser's window, where it says "Participate Today."