The Legacy of Planning in Mariemont, Ohio, and Riverside, Illinois

July 17, 2012

Riverside, Illinois, and Mariemont, Ohio, are two acclaimed examples of early planned communities. Riverside's plan was created in 1869 by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York City's Central Park, and John Nolen developed the town plan for Mariemont in 1921 as a national exemplar. Both of these pioneer planners were landscape architects who understood that good planning is good business.   

In recognition of their uniqueness and significance, Riverside and Mariemont enjoy a special honor — designation as National Historic Landmarks. In addition, they possess such enviable but often elusive attributes as sense of place, strong community identity, and outstanding quality of life.

After presenting an overview of Olmsted, Nolen, and the two communities, former Mariemont Preservation Foundation president Frank Raeon, AICP, explained why the design principles used in Riverside and Mariemont merit not only further consideration but potential incorporation into the development patterns and character of communities.

PowerPoint presentation (ppt)

PDF of PowerPoint presentation (pdf)

Frank Raeon, AICP

Frank Raeon, AICP

Frank Raeon, AICP, is a former city planning director for communities in Ohio and California. A geographer by degree, he provides planning and development as well as retail and restaurant site selection consulting services. Frank is a Mariemont resident, the past president of the Mariemont Preservation Foundation, and the primary author of Mariemont's Vision 2021 document.