Cincinnati Versus Suburbs - Makes No Sense (Kent, Oberlin: magnet schools, colleges)
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I think the attitudes have to change both in the city and in the county suburbs. There are about 46 different villages, townships, cities inside Hamilton County and EVERY ONE does not want to loose their piece of the pie. They dont want to be governed by another "body". I have been around public service for 33 years in this county and I can't tell you how many local office holders have lost their jobs because they had the audacity to suggest a change on how things work. I for one would love a metro govt in Hamilton County but I can assure you I am in the very small majority.
Perhaps I should not be so chicken and egg emphatic, my point is lost that way. Malls, office developments, strip malls, big box stores, etc. all did their part in sucking the life blood out of cities all across America. That life blood was the downtown / urban core of any given city affected in this manner. Suburban development (including but not limited to all of the above mentioned,) eventually accelerated by a period of white flight in the late 60s is what drew people out of cities.
Not the automobile, though the automobile certainly made it possible. That's my point. Just to get back to it and let it die.
As a disclaimer, I have been posting fast today in between errands and should have taken the time to be more clear in the first place. To clarify, no one would put a shopping mall in the middle of nowhere. So they were initially placed on the edge of urban developments (for the most part - exception is the rule) where the demographics supported such site selection. But these types of businesses and developments made it possible for the rapid growth seen in suburban development.
Hey, I am thrilled by the number of responses. We are off on a good track. Now what me need are ideas, backed up with how to get it done, to solve the significant problems facing our entire metro. Let's hear more on that score.
Instead of telling us how it is, also tell us how it needs to be and how to get there.
just exactly where is the line of demarcation between "Cincinnati" and "its suburbs"?
There are two different definitions at work here: suburbs as a governmental jurisdiction outside the central city, and sub-urban development. Parts of Norwood may be urban as far as development is concerned, but as in independent city it is a suburb of Cincinnati. Some people would call Madison Place, where I used to live, sub-urban development, even though it is within the city limits. Etc.
Fifty years ago, you would not have called Mason a suburb of Cincinnati; it was just a small town between Cincinnati and Dayton.
Originally Posted by TomJones123
Because with retail development came residential. Before shopping malls downtown USA was retail.
In fact, it was the other way around. Retail development followed residential development. Suburban factories, warehouses and office parks followed both for cheaper land and cheaper rents, and to attract workers who'd already moved out to the 'burbs.
As a disclaimer, I have been posting fast today in between errands and should have taken the time to be more clear in the first place. To clarify, no one would put a shopping mall in the middle of nowhere.
Fifty years ago, you would not have called Mason a suburb of Cincinnati; it was just a small town between Cincinnati and Dayton.
You are exactly correct. I am old enough to not only remember 50 years ago but be part of it. Mason was absolutely the sticks.
Then some enterprising guys built a golf course out of a cornfield. We would drive out to mason to play it. Not only was it cheap but they had the best greens of any public course in Cincinnati. Lousy fairways but great greens. And the first thing golfers want are good greens, because that is where all of the scoring is done.
A few years later Taft Broadcasting decided to shut down Coney Island and build Kings Island. Why near Mason? Very simple the cost of land. I believe they purchased around 1,200 acres. There is still a lot of land east of the park running down to the Little Miami River they have not even touched.
They also decided to build a golf course on the west side of I-71 across from the park. It was actually two courses in one. There was a regulation 18-hole course plus a par-3/4 executive 18-hole course. The short course was along I-71 and originally lighted for night play.
The game plan was, bring the kiddies to Kings Island for the day and wear them out. Have dinner and then put the kiddies to bed. Arrange for someone to look in on them and then the adults go out for a night of golf. The course of course had a fine clubhouse and bar to go with it. You could party there well into the night. The alternative was send the kids to Kings Island for the day with someone to watch over them while you play golf and enjoy adult activities right across the road. Is that a good plan or what?
As with many plans, there were some clunkers. The lights on the golf course caused major problems on I-71, people had problems even seeing the road, so the state made them shut down the lights. So the night play went bye-bye in short order.
As years have gone on, Kings Island has been sold multiple times. The golf course across the road was separated in the initial sale. Suddenly, recently it was realized the entire property the golf course sat on was zoned for high density residential from the beginning. We reached a point where golf course revenues begin to drop significantly, mainly due to changes in the tax laws which prohibit golf course fees to be chalked off as business entertainment expenses.
When the then current owner started to sell off the Golf Center at Kings Island property piecemeal, Mason panics due to the fact they do not want the influx of kids from a large high density residential development to impact an already overloaded school district. So they buy the remaining golf course property. Good or bad, I was in favor of the purchase, as I do believe high density residential complexes strain shoool systems beyond what they contribute. This is another topic we can debate.
My point here is simply not everything goes the way you plan it.
I am old enough and smart enough to realize Mason is indeed facing several financial problems. At the same time I look at them and say this is a problem which the entire Metro Area faces, so we better be in tune how to solve them collectively. If we just approach them from the narrow aspect of our own little neighborhood, we will fail.
At the same time I look at them and say this is a problem which the entire Metro Area faces, so we better be in tune how to solve them collectively. If we just approach them from the narrow aspect of our own little neighborhood, we will fail.
Thanks for the history summation. I learned a lot from it.
I think the best way for Cincy's metro to move forward is to begin regionalizing services. Start with Cincinnati and Hamilton County and go from there. There are too many things duplicated across all these municipalities.
I know hell will freeze over first. Just saying what I am in favor of.
You're suggesting a primary reason for the growth of suburbs is shopping malls? Really? I guess I need to read the article, but it doesn't make sense from an intuitive standpoint. Why would someone move to be closer to a mall?
I see it the other way around. Malls moved to where people live. Not vice versa. The growth of suburbs began in the 1950's with WW2 vets looking for cheap places to build homes and start their families. They further grew in the 1960's and 1970's with a lot of the turmoil in the inner cities which caused white America to flee to real/perceived safer ground. The Detroit and Watts riots made a lasting impression on whites at the time.
You are correct that intuitively it makes sense that businesses would not locate where people don't live (which I often cite as a reason why downtown retail has been such a failure in the past), however, it is notable that Tri-County Mall was built in 1957 and there was nothing in the one horse town of Springdale...there was still a crossroads in farm fields called Port Union...and I-275 was barely on the drawing board. It was in the sticks!
People criticize people so much for living out in the suburbs like me, kjbrill, and others on this forum, but what they don't realize is that any of us have good legitimate reasons for choosing not to live within the city limits, far away from them for that matter.
I would never send my kids to a Cincinnati Public School, and am VERY happy I have a suburban private school Saint Ignatius alternative, and it is obvious why, the Cincinnati Public School system is not good at all, and to be blunt, TERRIBLE. Although I can see that they are starting to pay more attention to the children's' education rather than their salaries in the higher ranks and trying to work out solutions to the problem, pumping more money at the school systems in the city limits WILL NOT fix the issues.
The solution starts at the foundation of the problem, the kids attending these schools. My grandfather is a substitute teacher, subbing at schools such as Western Hills H.S. , Dater, Aiken, and Withrow... I felt bad when he was sad about how much kids just don't care about getting a good education anymore, and are much more interested in sex and drugs more so than their futures. He told me the kids in most Cincinnati high schools in the limits besides Walnut Hills honestly have the tools to make something of themselves, but just don't have any motivation to do so.
You need to realize most kids at the schools I mentioned come from lower income families, and are exposed to the real struggle. Most of us suburban dwellers really cannot comment much on this struggle kids go through who come from low incomes, and drug ridden families. I personally have friends who live in Walnut Hills and have kids who really honestly do want to make it in life, but when they are exposed to other kids in their school not caring about education, it drags them down and makes the kids think 'well what's the point of trying?'
We honestly need more programs to reach out to communities, areas like Avondale are coming together to repel crime and keep their children out of trouble and in line to make sure they don't have to stay in Avondale per say. We need to see MORE of this in communities like Walnut Hills, North College Hill, etc...
For now, I would definitely dread my area of Green Township to become a part of the Cincinnati city limits, it definitely would not go uphill. I will probably be moving to Orlando, FL soon because of work, and Monfort Heights and surrounding areas are definitely not going anywhere and are going downhill and may as well become part of Cincinnati, ESPECIALLY Colerain Township, I have never seen a suburb go downhill over 10 years so much as this.
I definitely agree with some of you, if Cincinnati really does prove it can better it's school system, quality of life, and safety, I would be HAPPY to be a part of it, as all of the undesirables have nowhere to go except for the inner ring suburbs and some outer ring suburbs.
For now, the only foreseeable solutions to our problems in the city are unfolding before us. I see a HIGHLY dedicated Cincinnati police chief who is impressing me on tackling any emerging gangs before they even get noticed outside of the community they are in, and is using new technology to distribute appropriate forces to different communities in the city, kudos.
Quality of life is improving with Over The Rhine becoming a gentrification powerhouse and once that becomes a safe neighborhood (It has a ways to go with safety still, you must admit) it will only cause the surrounding neighborhoods to try to copy the ways of it, so on and so forth.
As for me, I have loved Cincinnati but staying here isn't feasible with my job promotion as a civil engineer and having to move to Orlando this Summer, but I will definitely continue to visit as I only see the city and metro as a whole going forward.
I would never send my kids to a Cincinnati Public School, and am VERY happy I have a suburban private school Saint Ignatius alternative, and it is obvious why, the Cincinnati Public School system is not good at all, and to be blunt, TERRIBLE.
In all fairness, CPS has some excellent schools. Fairview Germnan Language, Sands Montessori, North Avondale Montessori, SCPA, Elder, and there are many other magnet and neighborhood schools that perform very well. That's not to say that some of the neighborhood schools are disaster zones, the neighborhood school in my hood is pitiful and my son is enrolled in SCPA.
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