2014 National Planning Excellence Awards: Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan

Plan Cincinnati: A Comprehensive Plan for the Future

Cincinnati, Ohio

Plan Cincinnati is the first plan for the city of Cincinnati in more than 30 years. The three year process began in 2009; one year after the city's planning department was re-established. Instead of trying to make Cincinnati like other cities, Plan Cincinnati focuses on what makes Cincinnati unique — its urbanity. The plan focuses on revitalizing Cincinnati's neighborhood centers and corridors while improving citizen's physical health and quality of life. In a shift from traditional comprehensive plans, Plan Cincinnati is organized around five initiatives — compete, connect, live, sustain, and collaborate. The result is a plan that is more conceptual and is not a strict parcel-by-parcel approach. The plan emphasizes mixed-uses, and defines areas where compact walkable development should be reinforced or established.

Development of the plan was achieved through a "process of discovery," letting the process itself guide the plan's direction. Oversight was provided by a mayor-appointed steering committee that included representatives from community organizations, businesses, nonprofits, and institutions. Neighborhood summits, public open houses, and special youth outreach helped ensure that Plan Cincinnati was a plan that represented the citizens of Cincinnati and successfully involved stakeholders of various ages, backgrounds, and geographies.

The vision for Plan Cincinnati is thriving re-urbanization.