Check out this piece from The Infrastructurist entitled The Best New Urban Parks in the U.S., which lists six of the United States' newest and most exciting urban parks. In the piece, Cincinnati's The Banks was listed as the best up and coming urban park, and like The Infrastructurist and Cincinnati community leaders, Greater Ohio Policy Center is excited about The Banks' potential to revitalize Cincinnati's riverfront from its old industrial past to a new beginning that capitalizes on this true community asset. The Banks is an $800 million mixed-use development on the Ohio River in downtwon Cincinnati that once completed will become a true "live-work-play" riverfront neighborhood. The project includes the new construction of roughly 2.8 million square feet of mixed use space, including one million square feet of office space, 1,800 housing units, 200 hotel rooms, 300,000 square feet of retail and a 45-acres park. The first phase of the project, which includes the development's first apartments and storefronts, the public park and an underground parking garage, is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2011.
Greater Ohio applauds Cincinnati and other Ohio communities, from Toledo to Marietta and Youngstown to Dayton, that are redeveloping their waterways to provide quality of life enhancements that will draw people and ultimately jobs back to these communities. In fact, in our recently released Restoring Prosperity: Transforming Ohio Communities for the Next Economy, we call for the state to create a "Walkable Waterfront Initiative" to support local efforts, such as the Banks, to revitalize urban riverways and lakefronts. This initiative could build on existing Ohio programs such as the Clean Ohio Fund and the Job Ready Sites Program targeting these funds in a deliberate place-based manner that is aligned with local efforts. To learn more about this recommendation check out our report.