07 December 2005

Blame Game Begins for the Banks

Today's Post has an op-ed disguised as article about fallout over The Banks. Arn Bortz of Towne Properties is enjoying his I-told-you-so hissy fit and blames the County Commissioners for blowing off the Port Authority (which hired 3CDC, which Bortz is a member of). In other words, Bortz thinks any plan that doesn't involve him and his company is bad. I wonder if councilman Chris Bortz feels the same way.

Arn Bortz has a perfectly valid point that the County bungled its role. The County has bungled many things since Republicans Heimlich and DeWine (insert joke here) waltzed into office under the apparent impression that the election gave them the deed of ownership to the County. But Democrat Todd Portune was on board with them on this issue. Why?

Probably because the Port Authority was given 5 years to develop a plan, and all they came up with was parking garages.

So we're back to square one. I am not as distressed by this as others in the local blogosphere, because I have no confidence in civic planning that is led by developers. Developers are not urban planners. Developers build strip malls and condos, not vibrant metropolises.

The first step in a Banks project should be to purge the decision making bodies (the Economic Development Task Force, e.g.) of business executives. There is no reason to believe that business execs are any better at urban planning than any other profession, and I'm constantly flabbergasted at Cincinnati's automatic faith (and reliance) in its business community to solve all problems.

So how should the "new" Banks project move forward? Perhaps Robert Manley has the right idea.

If you're more interested in wrong ideas, some of The Enquirer's staff chimed in with their ideas, most of them copycat ideas from other cities. At least no one said casinos, thank god.

The best idea? Buy the baseball Hall of Fame from Cooperstown and bring it here. Rename The Banks "Pete Rose Park" and laugh at Major League Baseball forever.


TravisG said...

Until I read the last, totally fucking hilarious paragraph of this post, I liked an Enquirer letter-writer's idea to get DAAP students involved in planning the Banks.

You're totally right about letting private developers take charge in developing that land. There must be a long-range, comprehensive plan, and private enterprise and politicians alone wouldn't do that right. Qualified students who don't have a personal stake in it would make excellent partners in developing a broad strategy.

WestEnder said...

Interesting point. It has often struck me as silly that the one of America's top design and architecture schools is a bicycle ride from City Hall and yet is overlooked.