Saturday, April 19, 2008

Repositioning Dayton

One of this articles on the citys new downtown revitalization fund had an interesting lead:

"The city of Dayton wants to reposition its downtown core and the ring of surrounding neighborhoods to be more competitive when it comes to creating jobs, housing and amenities."

This is a larger policy intent than just adaptive reuse of Main Street property. Note the reference to "ring of surrounding neighborhoods". What does that mean?

Here is a map from the city planning department showing historic districts. I drew in some other things going on, like UD, MVH, whatever MVH is doing along Warren Street, the streetcar, Webster Station, Tech Town, and so forth. This is the area were theres' been a lot of announced projects, where there's bveen a lot of action.

Then I drew a line around whats close enough in as sort of a "Greater Downtown", whats walkable from downtown and across downtown. This could be the close in neighborhoods the article is talking about:

But that leaves out a lot. Expanding the concept to bring in some of the outlying historic districts, Wright-Dunbar, and the UD/Brown Street corridor:

This could be the new area of emphasis, the "Dayton" the city wants to market or position itself as an collection of "vintage neighborhoods" and redevelopment sites as its new area of focus?

But this does seem a bit like urban triage. Taking a broader look, here is the rest of the city, using that board-up/vacancy map, showing these concentrations as potential "zones of destruction" that the city is going to slowly demolish (and perhaps rebuild?).

One can see there is overlap with the historic districts, which means maybe some of these places aren't really viable as historic districts (Dayton View, for one, maybe Huffman), or need a lot more interest than they are getting.

So one can see the area shaded in red as place the city (and other players like UD and MVH, via its quiet slum clearance program) might be focusing on, while writing off the "zones of destruction". The rest of the city is probably OK, not failing and not recieving the "repositioning" as was mentioned in the byline.

Interesting to observe how this "zona rosa" sort of dips down toward Oakwood via UD/Brown Street, as maybe seeing this "repositioned Dayton" as a hipster/gentrifier/creative class extension of Oakwood?

1 comment:

David Esrati said...

Back in the early 90's a bunch of us got together to try to expand the central business district priority board-linking all the historic districts together. We met numerous times- and kept being told it couldn't be done.
This is where my friendship with Bill Rain grew- he was a forward thinking neighborhood activist- who did some of the first loft development downtown- and helped put together the JobCenter.
At that time, we were meeting with Cilla Shindel. It was fruitless- but could have really strengthened the area you've outlined.