Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Observer: Cincinnati is a hidden treasure

By Randy Tucker, rtucker@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Despite a widespread boycott, a racial profiling lawsuit and last year's riots, Cincinnati still rates as one of the 10 most underrated cities in America.

        In the April issue of Utne Reader, Peter Katz named Cincinnati No. 8 on the list. In the article, he said the city has a “surprisingly big-city feel, reflecting its 19th-century origins as one of America's preeminent metropolitan centers,” Mr. Katz wrote in Utne,an eclectic online and print magazine based in Minneapolis.

        Construction of the Reds' Great American Ball Park and the opening of Paul Brown Stadium on the riverfront have brought life back to the city.

        Mr. Katz also noted that the riverfront Banks development — to include the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center museum and other entertainment offerings — are helping Cincinnati's urban center stage a comeback.

        “Americans seem to be falling in love with cities again,” said Mr. Katz, an architect and city planner.

        Milwaukee, a “classic rust belt city that's made a fresh start,” was ranked No. 1 on the most underrated list. Louisville was ranked third as a “comfortable town where you can enjoy big-city advantages on a modest budget.”

        Others on the list included Washington, D.C. (No. 4) and Chicago (No. 7).

        Mr. Katz, author of The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community, said that after years in the suburbs, Americans are rediscovering the benefits of city living.

        And Cincinnati's lively downtown and classic neighborhoods make it a potent lure for suburbanites tired of long commutes and homogenous neighborhoods.


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