Niehoff Studio Themes


Building Healthy and Resilient Places 2014-2016

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The 2014 Fall Semester marks the beginning of the the Building Healthy and Resilient Places cycle, which looks into empowerment of communities and in terms of public health and sustainability. Students of urban planning, architecture, civil engineering, horticulture, and other disciplines were assigned to analyze the context, identity, socio-political-environmental significance of Burnet Woods and its possible future uses and improvements. Inquiry to Innovation, a UC forward honors class, researched how to increase awareness and interest in Burnet Woods. Along with the theme but placed in Walnut Hills, the Niehoff Studio also hosted a studio competition in partnership with the Urban Land Institute from Cincinnati, this gave students from accross fields a real life experience, a mentoring program and a cash prize for the best design in the amount of $ 5,000.
Metropolis and Mobility 2012-2013

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The fall Semester of 2012 is the beginning of the first year of the Metropolis and Mobility cycle, which studies the transportation system of Cincinnati and comparing it to other cities. Students of urban planning, architecture, civil engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, and structural engineering were assigned to identify problems and recommend transportation solutions for the city. Other Classes were also taught at the Studio. Tactical Urbanism, an Industrial Design course that designed DIY(Do it Yourself) solutions for the city of Covington to make the place more vibrant. Inquiry to Innovation, a UC forward honors class, researched problems around campus such as parking and move-out and gave recommendations to reduce the issues.
Place Matters 2011 - 2012

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For the year 2011-12 the studio theme is linked to a community reinvestment program called Place Matters, which is a five year multi-million dollar effort led by a consortium of public and private investors including the United Way, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, LISC and others. Place Matters focuses this significant funding for comprehensive community development in a limited set of three neighborhoods (Price Hill, Covington, and Avondale) to maximize impact on four priority areas including: built environment, youth development, economic stability, and community development. Target communities suffer from significant physical, social, and economic disadvantages but remain important strategically to the viability of our urban center because of their size and location. Of benefit to the studio is the strategic planning and implementation capacity that has been put in place for each community that sets out stakeholder prioritized objectives to focus on and establishes a community development corporation that can quickly take advantage and potentially implement student recommendations.
Great Streets and Gateways 2008 - 2011

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The theme of the 2008-2010 Niehoff Studio cycle was informed by findings of the Growth and Opportunities Plan for the City of Cincinnati (GO Cincinnati) study completed in January 2008 and sponsored by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the City of Cincinnati. Coursework during this studio term applied the study’s economic development strategies on the Hopple Street - Martin Luther King Drive - Madison Road corridor from Camp Washington to Madisonville in Cincinnati (referred to as the MLK-Madison corridor). Using a place-based approach, students analyzed and produced urban design strategy proposals for the corridor as a whole as well as particular development areas along it.

The Great Streets concept describes a multidisciplinary approach to corridor improvement comprising public realm investments, strategic land use plans, public safety strategies, and economic development assistance originating from an initiative of the District of Columbia.
Housing and Community Development in Uptown 2006-2008

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During 2006-08 the studio focused on housing and community development. Interdisciplinary teams of students worked closely with four of the Uptown Communities to envision community development alternatives that would support new and expanded housing opportunities within a framework of revitalized neighborhood business districts, enhanced cultural and social institutions, and new recreational and greenspace offerings for an improved quality of life.

Students worked with community stakeholders to map assets and tensions within the complex uptown neighborhoods to facilitate comprehensive community planning and development around reconfigured housing scenarios. Working with developers and practitioners, students created new models for underserved sectors such as affordable workforce housing and university linked retirement communities.
Over the Rhine Project 2004-2006

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During 2004-06 interdisciplinary teams of students and faculty focused the work of the studio on the Over-The-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati . Working with stakeholders and community groups, the studio developed research and design project proposals that promote positive change in this underserved inner-city community.

Project work addressed issues of human capital development, economic development, health and the environment, community development, education, and housing. Students and faculty worked directly with community partners to develop research and design strategies. The studio also developed new and expanded partnerships with University departments and units as well as other institutions, such as Miami University Center for Community Engagement and the Art Academy.
Urban Food and Quality of Life 2002-2004

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The content focus of the studio in years 2002-04 was on food production, distribution, and retailing. The studio included interdisciplinary work and research in urban food retailing, urban design, and quality of life issues for urban supermarkets and their neighborhoods.

From early times to the present, food has occupied a central place in the urban community. The food we eat is telling of our identity, our ethnicity, our social class, our political and social views, and our state of health. Access to urban retail food outlets by diverse socio-economic, ethnic, and age groups; the distribution and design of these outlets and associated uses in the physical and social urban fabric; the current and emerging trends in retail food on consumer preferences; the presence and use of food in public places; the production and availability of fresh food to urban points of sale; and other food related issues are important considerations to food retailers, local governments, planners, urban designers, architects, and other urban professionals.