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History of Hillside Regulations in Cincinnati
In 2018, The Hillside Trust was invited by Chinese Professor Zheng Li, Phd in Landscape Architecture with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at Beijing Forestry University to write an article for the Beijing Forestry Journal on the history of hillside regulations for the City of Cincinnati. Professor Li was aware of Cincinnati’s history of hillside regulations and wanted The Hillside Trust to share its perspective on the subject. Professor Li believed that China could learn from Cincinnati’s experience as the significant size of his country’s population is causing more and more development of steeper topography for residential settlement.
Hillside Trust Executive Director, Eric Russo and then Hillside Trust Board member and geologist, Tim Agnello co-authored the article, which is available below. The article is written in both English and Chinese. It provides an overview of Cincinnati’s settlement, highlighting earlier land use practices, such as wide spread deforestation of the hillsides and quarrying activities among other things that exacerbated the region’s slide-prone nature. The article covers the origins and evolution of Cincinnati’s hillside regulations, includes examples of major landslide incidents, and suggests ways in which Cincinnati’s regulations can be improved as the city moves forward into the 21st Century.