Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The Enquirer Does Not Get the Point of Urbanism

If you were to presume that the majority of the Editorial page board live in the suburbs based on this editorial, then I think you would be right. I can't prove it, you know, except if I wanted to look up the individual members on the voter registration rolls, which I will skip tonight. Instead, I feel that I must point out something simple, yet,  that at least the writer of the editorial misses about why people are moving to Downtown Cincinnati.  As a person who lives in the near Downtown area (OTR), I can attest to this personally.

I plan on living here as long as I live in the metro area.

I don't plan on moving into a house with a picket fence.

The suburbanite fantasy is not for me.  Please don't force it upon me or anyone else, which is what the Enquirer appears to be doing, from the editorial:
Most Cincinnati residents live in neighborhoods like these. And we want young adults who live Downtown, attracted by redevelopment, to someday live in those neighborhoods. Neighborhoods need city investment and attention.
No, Mr/Mrs Editorial board members, I don't hope people who move Downtown "come to their senses" and move to a white picket fence neighborhood. I want people who are looking for a City to FIND and LIVE in a CITY.

We choose to live in city, not a 2.2 kid and backyard dream. If people want to move to city neighborhoods, THAT IS AWESOME! I really hope they do. They are far better than exurban wastelands and are closer to the action, the urban core. If you want to live in a city neighborhood, that is a very honorable goal.  That person is not the target for Downtown living.

If people feel more comfortable in Hyde Park, I am SOOOOOO COOOOOL with that. I want people to move there. I want Westwood and Avondale and Bond Hill and Mt. Washington and Madisonville to have tons of people living in them.  None of those neighborhoods have ever been or will ever be economic or cultural centers and they are not meant to be.

Here is what the Enquirer and much of the Conservative Republicans don't get. Urbanism is about creating a core that helps EVERYONE. We build the urban core up and then all the neighborhoods gain. Not everyone wants to live the hardcore city life like Tim Mara apparently doesn't get. That is OK, but we must recognize the urban core as the economic and cultural center of the Metro area and keeping that urban core healthy it helps foster the innovative, creative, and energetic people living in that core to induce the growth all around the Cincinnati Metro area.

We love the nightlife, we got to boggie on the disco 'round, oh yeah.

Yes, this is a hard pill for the "if you build a stripmall, they will come" crowd, but that is the past.  Our future is in our cities.  This is a throwback to the past, but the post War years have killed our culture and society long enough.  If we don't embrace urbanism, then American culture, the good parts of it at least, will decay.

As a side note, the part that I don't get and never will understand is how anyone living way out in the exurbs or traditional inner-suburbs can think that without a vibrant and focused urban core the metro area can grow.  It just will not happen.  I really hope someone at the Enquirer will wake up and see the future and stop fearing it.  Exurbanite Republicans will always fear change, but just because that is your core audience, you can't hide the truth from them forever.

Finally: so if you think the Enquirer isn't biased against the Streetcar and the City core, then I guess you have been living in a cave in Indian Hill for the last 5 years.

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