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Walnut Hills study begins this week

A revitalization study of Cincinnati's Walnut Hills neighborhoods gets underway Tuesday afternoon.  

Margo Warminski with the Cincinnati Preservation Association called it a data driven planning tool.

“It was created in response to the issues in older industrial cities that have lots of population and job loss mostly in the Midwest and East but elsewhere,” Warminski said.  “And as a result they’ve got large inventories of vacant, often decaying, buildings many of which are historic and often they’re torn down without an overall plan.”

The first phase of the study involves volunteers using a Smartphone app to survey every real estate parcel in the neighborhood.  That information will be combined with other data from the Census Bureau and the city.

A release said the data includes 78 measures within eight broad categories: environment, walkability, real estate, economic opportunity, fiscal, engagement and community character.  By weighing these elements community preferences and priorities can be discovered.  

Warminski said Walnut Hills was selected in part because the community has embraced preservation as an economic development tool.  She also said it’s a diverse community with three historic districts and a strong neighborhood association.

“The purpose is how to reuse buildings and lots to revitalize and strengthen neighborhoods,” Warminski said.  “Or as in the case of Walnut Hills to bolster the revitalization that’s already underway in some areas and to use data collected from a field survey and also form other sources to make wise choices about the neighborhood’s future.”

A full set of recommendations is expected by year's end.  

The revitalization study is being funded with private money.