Proactive Blight Reduction and Neighborhood Revitalization

Fellows: Jennifer Helsby, Talia Kaufmann, Katharina Rasch
Mentor: Eric Rozier
Project Manager: Paul van der Boor
Project Partner: City of Cincinnati
[Project Blog Post]

First settled in 1788, Cincinnati is one of the oldest American cities west of the original colonies. In 2014, the city struggled with aging home stock, stifling economic redevelopment in some neighborhoods. Efforts to enforce the building code citywide were largely reactive, driven by citizen complaints and often occurring too late to salvage the property. Moving forward, the city wanted to use data to identify declining properties before they endanger public safety and economic development so that early intervention strategies can prevent further damage and stimulate neighborhood revitalization.

In 2015, DSSG developed a system that identifies properties at risk of code violations or abandonment which do not have registered complaints, so that Cincinnati can proactively deploy inspectors to these buildings. The system will also identify which of the city’s blight reduction programs are most suited to address specific properties; helping city departments prioritize limited enforcement and legal resources for building code enforcement and rehabilitation.

You can read more about our work with Cincinnati on our blog and details about this project here.