Smart Growth America recently completed video interviews with several mayors and other prominent elected officials nationwide, and will be releasing them over the next several months. The first is with Mayor Mark Mallory from Cincinnati — he speaks to the need to invest in downtowns and to make the right kinds of infrastructure investments to trigger job creation and community development.

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Mayor Mallory discusses how the revised downtown will benefit from the new John G. and Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park:

“We’re doing a lot of things in Cincinnati. In addition to building the streetcar, we are developing
our riverfront with a project called The Banks. This is the space between our two stadiums. It’s
going to be more than 300 apartments – this is just in the first phase – retailers, there’s a giant park
that will be a part of it. This project will go in to its second phase in the next couple weeks actually,
and before it’s over with we’ll probably spend a billion dollars on our riverfront.

Phase One and Two of the Smale Riverfront Park are slated to open on May 15. The new park will feature  fountains, walkways, gardens, event lawns, playgrounds and restaurants. There will also be restrooms, a visitor’s center and bike parking, for a membership fee. In addition to connecting to the bike trial, there are also bike rummels along the steps to the lower level, so you don’t have to carry your bike down, but can roll it along the side. Cincinnati Parks is overseeing the planning, development and building of the park, and funding came primarily from the city of Cincinnati and the Smale family. Read more about the new park here and watch a video clip here.