The goal of the conference is to provide a chance for members of the community to discuss the project with community leaders. Following an opening presentation, participants will break into working groups to discuss such topics as the social impact of streetcars on Over-The-Rhine, economic impact, environmental issues and funding.
The conference is sponsored by the Urban Transit Network (UTN), which was founded this summer by a group of Xavier students. UTN is dedicated to improving Cincinnati through transit-oriented development and is working to build a coalition in support of the streetcar initiative.
“We need to keep this project on the public agenda and get it done according to what the public wants,” says Xavier junior and UTN co-founder David Ben. “This will help Cincinnati as a whole. It will help draw companies to the city.”
In addition to the economic impact, UTN also believes the streetcar system will also help create a livelier downtown social scene. Cincinnati is not alone in pursuing streetcars as a means of urban transportation and development. At least a dozen cities in the United States already have a system operating or under construction, and a handful more are being planned. Portland, Ore., tends to be the model city for modern streetcars, but other metropolitan areas, including a successful system in Kenosha, Wis., and a planned system in Columbus, demonstrate the desire nationwide for efficient urban transportation and center-city revitalization.
“This will put more people on the street, and the side effect of that is a safer city,” said Ben.
R.S.V.P.s are appreciated to firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch is included for those who R.S.V.P. For more information about UTN please visit www.urbantransitnetwork.com.