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Renewing Old Neighborhoods Means Revitalizing Parks

Revitalization of compact urban neighborhoods often means — and can even be centered on — renewing the urban parks within them. Patterson Park in Baltimore is a great example of this.

Recent news out of Cincinnati from the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is further evidence of this trend, where local economic development officials believe an over $40 million renovation of Washington Park is the most important project in terms of revitalizing this charming yet still struggling neighborhood north of downtown.

To paraphrase Jane Jacobs, a park isn’t necessarily a boon for a community unless the community confers appreciation and use on it. Let’s hope Washington Park, with this renovation, can become a real source of revitalization in Over-the-Rhine.

4 Responses

  1. I live about a block away from Washington Park and can’t wait for ground to be broken on its redevelopment. The inclusion of underground parking as well as it being a focal point of the neighborhood. I’ve lived in the neighborhood for three years– two blocks east of where I am now– and am eager for the park to become usable.

  2. Luckily for us Cincinnatians 3CDC is in charge and they’ve done amazing things on Fountain Square. I expect nothing less at Washington Park. With the future streetcar running past, and a full slate of programing I expect crowds on a daily basis.
    But make no mistake there are serious obstacles in the way. The Drop Inn Center is on one side with all the homeless people it helps, it also attracts some with criminal and drug problems. On the other corner is a bar selling 40’s which then fills that corner of the park with people sitting around drunk getting verbal and abusive.
    But I think all these challenges will be met and Washington Park will become one of the premiere urban parks in the country. Once that happens the housing stock around the park will become hot property.

  3. As I mentioned in my story on UrbanCincy.com, I believe that 3CDC’s investment in Washington Park will have similar results to those seen at Fountain Square in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.

    Washington Park can, and will, be the focal point of a revitalized Over-the-Rhine. Once this renovation is complete I fully expect living options to become more attractive in the immediate area.

  4. Washington Park has incredible potential, not just as a neighborhood oriented urban park, but as a front yard to numerous institutional uses immediately surrounding it. It will be exciting to see how the SCPA, Music Hall, Memorial Hall, etc. will utilize the space once it has been renovated.

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