Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Strengths of Cincinnati -- an outsider's view

I came across this blog post from the Urbanophile .... he lists some great assets of Cincinnati: great geography, spectacular neighborhoods, innovative architecture, top notch cultural institutions, major corporate headquarters, a genuine regional culture. He also highlights some of the urban decay of Cincinnati (the same decay that has led some local leaders to clamor for casinos like other cities have). He's got great photos....check out his post.

Urbanophile makes an interesting comment:
It just goes to show that what I said in my pecha kucha presentation was true: cities are about people, not just buildings. All the great geography, architecture, etc. in the world isn't a sufficient condition to create a thriving, dynamic city.

I looked at Urbanophile's comments from the pecha kucha presentation .... and some of it struck true for Cincinnati and Ohio....permit me to modify some of his aphorisms (and feel free to follow his link above to see them in context applied to his hometown of Indianapolis)

  • "Ultimately [Cincinnati] can only be a world class city by being a world class [Cincinnati]"
  • "We've got to build a city on what we are, not what we're not."
  • "[Cincinnati] doesn't have to imitate any other place to go to the next level. Instead, get to the place where people are copying us."
  • "If a city shows it doesn't care about itself, why should it expect other people to care to live there?"
  • "Talented, educated, ambitious people want to live in cities where the civic aspiration matches their personal aspirations."
  • "Cities are about people, not just buildings. You can't love the neighborhood if you hate the neighbors."
  • "There can't be a successful [Cincinnati] without a successful [Ohio]"
  • "People in [Ohio] are [Buckeyes], and I think that's a source of strength, not weakness. It's a part of that unique culture for us to build our own greatness on."
  • "A world class [Cincinnati] will be a world class [Ohio] city."
The strength is within us .... in our God given talents and abilities. We don't need some quick fix of casinos to make us into a poor man's Vegas. We need to build on our strenghts and be the best Ohio we can be. All the states around us have legalized casino gambling....good for them...it helps make it clear that we're different .... we're exceptional. Now let's start acting like it.

Let's build Our Ohio Now

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