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Professor Discussed Why UC Class is Working in Covington

A group of students from the University of Cincinnati is working in Covington as they further their studies in tactical urbanism (SEE PREVIOUSLY: Downtown Covington to Be Made Over by UC Class). Some activities have included a mini-golf course on top of a parking garage, art installations in the windows of empty storefronts, wayfinding signs, and most recently on Wednesday, an pop-up park & cafe installation under a barren overpass at Pike & Russell Streets. The professor leading the class, Matt Anthony, spoke to Soapbox Cincinnati about why they chose Covington:

Q: Why are the projects based in Covington when there are opportunities in Cincinnati to revitalize the city’s urban core?
A: “Recently, the CDC has been engaged with a few projects in Covington, including some involvement in the studies or development of their Center City Action Plan. Covington itself offered a unique set of issues to address and also a territory that was largely unfamiliar to students, even though we are so close to this very central and urban area.

When we first started talking about doing this project, Frank Russell, director of the CDC, was the first to suggest Covington as a prime location. We’ve been fortunate to have a great relationship with some city officials, such as Natalie Bowers, who is the arts district director in Covington. She has been a great internal champion of arts projects and knows the right channels to get more official approval for some of our projects that require it. Katie Meyers from Renaissance Covington has also helped organize some business and commercial-oriented work.

There are more communities in our region on both sides of the river that we’d like to work with. Our hope is that there is some excitement with these projects and we can take what we learned in Covington and apply it elsewhere. There was interest in some temporary installation projects around the Pendleton neighborhood recently, so that is a possibility.”

Read more: Soapbox Cincinnati

PHOTO: Installation at Mutual Insurance Building in Covington/RCN file