Monday, April 02, 2012

Neighborhood Problems Are Decades Old, Not Recent

In another "exclusive" the Cincinnati Enquirer attempts to explain the plight of several of the most depressed neighborhoods within the City. They do this by allowing an anti-Urban Core message to be presented. The basic premise of the article asks if the City CURRENTLY is treating neighborhoods "Fairly." Then they trot out anecdotal evidence of decaying areas of many neighborhoods, and talk about areas like North/South Fairmont which have been declining for decades. Just looking at the rate of decline over the last decade is not a valid measurement alone. If the neighborhood was already depressed and was small and just got smaller, that's not a fair assessment.

Places like Price Hill and Fairmont are not economic centers, they are residential neighborhoods.  As the article begrudgingly mentions, these neighborhoods were once home to large numbers of working class people who left when the manufacturing jobs left.  This started to happen well over 40 years ago and ended still decades ago. So trying to claim these neighborhoods are being held back today because the City is focusing on rebuilding the urban core, is a fallacy. Putting money into places that exist to support the job centers of the city will do nothing.  You have to support the Job Centers first and that will build up demand for housing in these neighborhoods.  That demand will bring development dollars.

What does this rely on, strong job centers, which are located in the Urban core (Downtown/Pill  Hill).  So the answer to the question in the article asking if all neighborhoods are treated equally, the answer is no, and has always been no.  Neighborhoods are different and serve different purpouses. It if funny that Queensgate wasn't really mentioned.  It is just as depressed and hurting. Why?  No one lives there, no one complains.

The City of Cincinnati must focus on building up the urban core.  This is the basis of city development.  Trying to prop up neighborhoods that don't have a viability beyond residential, can't be the focus. If these neighborhoods want to grow, they have to grow as the job centers grow.  Support job center growth and they have a chance.

Another thing not covered by the article, but a factor none-the-less is the affect white-flight had on these neighborhoods.  That's clear in the statistics and this isn't the initial wave that took place in the 1960's, this is a clear disparity.  East Price Hill shows this the most, where since 2000, white population dropped nearly 40%, while the Black population increased by more than 50%, and the Hispanic population rose 340%.  That doesn't fit the narrative, so it's ignored, like the neighborhood squeaky wheels claim they are being ignored.  Ironic?


2 comments:

  1. I hate the Enquirer; refuse to read it and refuse to post comments. I did read this article and the comments that follow. The Enquirer is an extremely negative paper and breeds contempt purposely. This is a prime example. Instead of educating the public it chooses to generate ill will via a crappy article as a way to obtain eyeballs for advertisers.

    Thereby, I was hoping I would read some things in this blog post that would educate readers on some of the more positive aspects of the neighborhoods mentioned but, sadly, did not.

    I cannot speak for other neighborhoods but I live in East Price Hill or the Incline District. I walk to Corner Bloc multiple times weekly, visit the Bayou Fish House and my running route visits Mt. Echo Park and Queens Tower.

    Price Hill is doing well. As a Place Matters grant recipient, Price Hill Will has done an outstanding job of promoting and helping the community. We have Good Guy Loitering in the summer time occurring on the corner of Hawthorne and Warsaw, new housing development by Queen's Tower, and the Incline District has been designated an Entertainment District by the city of Cincinnati. The corner of 8th and Elberon is seeing a long time standing structure being renovated - in fact, we considered several properties for sale by Price Hill Will when we moved here.

    The Covedale Theater is very active and usually full for most performances and saw renovation in the last 2-3 years, the Sunset Players are repairing the Dunham Community Center as a community arts center and just had their fundraiser, Refugee Coffee house has opened and is doing well, the Front Porch continues to be a strong asset to the community and several CATs (community action teams) via Price Hill Will help to create Holiday on the Hill every year which sees attendance growing considerably.

    Price Hill Will has created a video garnering 1000 hits on You Tube and a blog whereby residents can post articles and join in the conversation.

    In terms of jobs - anyone who doesn't recognize the West side as a cornerstone of the healthcare industry in Cincinnati is asleep under a rock. Mercy is currently building a new hospital in Dent and the Western Hills complex has multiple listings on their website for positions. LarRosas has their large call center located on Boudinot and Glenway is a hotbed of small businesses all along the strip. The new Kroger in Delhi is huge and recently expanded staff.

    Honestly, is there a parallel universe existing of another Cincinnati? I sometimes wonder if I live in the same city as bloggers and the Enquirer.

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  2. They also didn't mention success stories. Camp Washington, for example, has done a great job revitalizing their residential properties. It is a diverse neighborhood (racially and economically)with great housing stock. The community board has been buying, renovating, and selling homes that were once abandoned which now are owner-occupied. A large chunk of the community council is made up of people who now live in these rehabbed buildings.

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