the cool thing about cities is that the state of their downtown tend to reflect the state of the entire city as a whole. cincinnati hasn’t always been the city it is today. as with most cities during the mid to late 20th century, Cincinnati lost a ton of its population as people opted to move to the suburbs. as cities were hemorrhaging residents many of them fell into decline, and in turn their downtowns suffered as well.
downtown Cincinnati is no exception to this. around the 50’s, the city decided to jam a highway through it (Fort Washington Way), effectively cutting downtown in half. during the 70’s, leaders had the idea of building a skywalk encompassing downtown so pedestrians didn’t have to walk on the street and cars could reign king. this led to a really unwelcoming and unaccommodating environment. downtown became a neighborhood people didn’t enjoy spending time in and was pretty much dead outside of normal working hours and Bengals/Reds games.
the downtown of old has changed though. the skywalk was quickly realized to be a bad idea and was mostly removed in the late 90’s. the city began to reinvest in downtown and the riverfront in the early 2000’s. today there’s a movement of people moving back to urban cores and cities regaining some of the population they lost during suburbanization. with The Banks being developed, the streetcar, and the new parks along the riverfront, people and companies are moving back to downtown Cincinnati.