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CNT Reports: Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transit

Last week CNT released its BUILT reports for the state of Ohio. BUILT stands for Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transit. This is a repost from their website with permission.

The Great Recession has hammered Ohio. The unemployment rate topped 9 percent in its three largest regions of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. And the 2010 Census revealed that the cities of Cincinnati and Cleveland lost 10.4% and 17.1% of their population over the course of the decade.

But in three recently released reports funded by Living Cities, CNT found that Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus possess the transportation infrastructure and urban form to spark new and sustainable investment as the economy recovers.

As part of the Broadening Urban Investment to Leverage Transit (BUILT) In Ohio partnership with the Office of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and leaders in each of the three regions, CNT explored the impact of recent urban development patterns and identified key market opportunities in transit-oriented development and cargo-oriented development that will keep each region economically competitive. Across all three metropolitan areas, CNT found an environment where highways fostered extensive greenfield development and undermined each regional economy:

  • Homebuilders constructed 131,000 more units than the market could support, just since 2000.
  • Residents spent $21.9 billion per year just to cover their transportation needs —an amount that overshadows the $1.8 billion spent by the public sector on transportation improvements.
  • National investors rank these Ohio regions poorly as markets for multifamily and mixed use development.
  • Retirees and younger workers will demand more compact development through 2030, but as a whole these kinds of developments are in short supply in Ohio.

CNT convened 120 key leaders in the Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus regions to discuss the economic sustainability of these trends and recent transportation, housing and job development investments. The participants included developers, business representatives, and public officials who had not been engaged with urban development issues in the past. All attendees pledged to continue to stay engaged in the conversation as it continues.