Tuesday, June 10, 2003

What others are saying

Tell us what you think would help attract or keep young professionals in the Tristate. Check Cincinnati.Com throughout the week to see what others are saying.
Gen X winners and losers
A Gen X-odus: Their top 10 destinations
Who is Gen X?
Groups of and for young adults
Young majority on council shifting city's focus
Support for arts a start
Question the status quo
Improve access to downtown
Cincinnati's young adults are growing up and moving out at alarming rates, prompting a shift in urban approach.

More responses from readers suggesting what Cincinnati can do to keep and attract young professionals:

I am one of the "Gen Xers" that moved from Cincinnati during the 1990s (I left in 1996). The principal reason I moved, and the principal reason I don't want to return, is the lack of diversity and the lack of progressive leadership and vision.

Sure, Cincinnati has a diverse population base—racially, economically, etc.—but it is so segregated. The lack of interaction between people that crosses economic and racial lines is distressing to say the least. Perhaps the most depressing aspect is that there is little that is actually being done to change the conditions. To pretend that simply bringing more arts or outdoor activities to Cincinnati will keep the young work force in town is foolish. Quality of life includes those things, but ensuring an integrated and diverse population and creating an economically, culturally and environmentally sustainable city will do far more to keep (and attract) young professionals.

Chip Smith, Ann Arbor, Mich.
(submitted Monday, June 9)

One of the things that I think of as a huge problem within Cincinnati is no clear vision or action plan concerning downtown. As a young person, I think people are interested in being downtown. But as someone who reads a good amount about downtown development, it seems like there is always a lot of talk about what should happen but no real follow-through. Should we do the Banks or Main Street or Fountain Square?

Personally, when attending Reds games and the like with people, I'm always hearing from my friends that there needs to be a bar district on the river(the Banks). It seems to me that City Council and the Mayor are moving away from that vision, and I think they are losing out on a great opportunity for our city. I understand the arguments for the other areas, but I see other young people recognizing a hole where the banks project is meant to be, which is something that really needs to be capitalized on.

It is my understanding that there are a lot of roadblocks for projects such as the Banks and other developments. This seems to be a huge reason why projects such as Newport on the Levee are across the river. I know Valerie Lemmie talked when she got here about a one-stop permit shop for developers, rather than the 26 stops they have to hit now. Does it not scream that there is a problem when, of all the good developments such as Rookwood or Newport, none are actually in Cincinnati?

Additionally, while I do think that young people tend to be more open to the arts, I don't necessarily think that means the Aronoff or the things promoted by the Fine Arts Fund. I'm from Columbus, and every first Saturday people are jammed onto High Street there to check out the galleries in the Short North. Where is an area here, that people would feel safe in, that we could promote that same kind of feel? Someplace where you can check out a gallery and within the same couple of blocks check out a band, but that still has a comfort level of safety for people?

Heather Wakefield, Anderson Township
(submitted Tuesday, June 10)

As a 24 year-old who used to live in Cincinnati, I have found the people in my new community to be idealistically friendly and welcoming neighbors. I have never encountered this kind of generosity from complete strangers in Cincinnati. Maybe the answer isn't more buildings; perhaps it's cultivating a warm and welcoming population.

Eric Stauffer, Versailles, Ind.
(submitted Tuesday, June 10)

One thing that would greatly entice people like me to want to live in the city is more parks within the county and/or city limits. With the addition of the parks, add events to each park to fill the summer with fun activities for families. Most of the Gen Xers I know, myself included, are starting families and are having more than one child in their families. My wife and I are always looking for something fun to do besides the zoo or Kings Island. The new ballpark is wonderful, but for us, with three children under the age of 8, a more practical, educational and entertainment value would revolve around picnics, bike rides, festivals, etc.

Tim Oaks, West Chester
(submitted Monday, June 9)

First, the city needs to solve the problem related to street beggars. Being approached for handouts by multiple individuals each time I go out does not provide for a pleasurable and enjoyable atmosphere.

The city has many great attactions (Paul Brown Stadium, Great American Ball Park, U.S Bank Arena, Aronoff Center, Contemporary Arts Center, Music Hall, etc.). However, I will not venture out because the city does not seem safe. The city needs to do a much better job of making people "feel" safe on a day-to-day basis. I think getting rid of the street beggars would be a good start to making people "feel" safe. After 2 1/2 years of living in Cincinnati, I have chosen to return to my home city to relieve the constant uneasiness I have felt since coming to Cincinnati.

Chad Miller, Fairfield
(submitted Monday, June 9)

I have been a downtown resident since 1987 and am very pleased with the progress that private development has produced over the past decade. Market rate housing and owner operated businesses that provide essential services are key to the development of any neighborhood. It is essential to build a sense of community throughout downtown residents by eliminating the need to shop elsewhere for everyday products and services.

I agree that removing the skywalks and limiting crosswalks and traffic signals to intersections will help promote street level retail in the Central Business District. The crosswalks and stoplights in the middle of every downtown block are not necessary.

I strongly disagree that designating north Main Street as a pedestrian-only bar district will help improve the quality of life issues in downtown.

The city must realize that "owner-occupied market rate residential development" is the key to a successful, safe and clean urban core. If residents are financially invested in the neighborhood, they will also be civically invested in the neighborhood. A large market rate community will also require services such as cafes, markets, dry cleaners, retail shops, etc. By generating an upscale residential base, you will generate a demand for services, as well as safety and cleanliness.

Anthony Gulden, Cincinnati
(submitted Monday, June 9)

Spread out the entertainment district more. Make use of the city's wonderful features such as the riverfront. I am tired of going to Main Street and wondering if my car will still be there when I get back. Clean up the neighborhoods so people can enjoy the city. Also, make better use of the areas surrounding the city's universities. There are plenty of young people in the city; they are just segregated from the rest of the people.

Josh Hannah, Fairfield
(submitted Tueday, June 10)

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Young adults leaving town
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