Cincinnati’s reconnection of neighborhoods, greenspace and trails to the 34-mile CROWN trail system improves access to the city’s multi-use trail system in development and opens up opportunities for residents to enjoy nature while encouraging walking and biking for recreation and transportation. Working with residents and community leadership, the Cincinnati Civic Commons team hopes to engage and elevate understanding of the power of public spaces to improve people’s lives.
Cincinnati is reconnecting neighborhoods and the people who live in them through investments in greenspace and active transportation. The completion of the CROWN trail—the city’s first-ever urban trail loop—strengthens the connection between affordable housing, complete streets, revitalized neighborhood business districts and improves equitable access to the benefits of public greenspace.
An existing collaboration between the city parks department, the local sewer district, parks and recreation advocates, schools, civic asset managers and non-profit organizations on shared use and maintenance of public assets is an opportunity to engage and elevate a greater understanding throughout the community about the power of public space, connected neighborhoods, measurement and tracking towards outcomes and working across organizational silos.
The focus for the Cincinnati team is twofold: developing meaningful programming for the Lick Run Greenway, a recently completed walking and biking path along an urban stream and pond that will soon connect to the CROWN trail system; and the development of a community-led vision for the Mill Creek Greenway, a trail that offers a unique perspective into the city’s industrial history. The team will also work on implementing complete streets near these assets, improving collaborative maintenance agreements between the Cincinnati’s Transportation and Engineering, Public Services, Recreation, and Parks Departments, preparing organizations for an influx of infrastructure dollars, utilizing school campuses as public greenspace, and addressing issues of park (and other public space) maintenance needs. This work will be particularly important in disinvested neighborhoods, where parks are not always perceived as safe, accessible spaces.