Community Connection

A new public building provides a unique opportunity to reach out into the community. Cincinnati worked with residents to design its Police HQ.
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For the new Cincinnati District 3 Police Station (full article here), city planners worked with community members to determine the site for the station and a 25-member community advisory team worked with architects and the construction team to define the building’s public spaces and make decisions regarding artwork.

The CD3PS site was designed incorporating bioswales and biofil­tration/retention basins to mitigate combined sewer overflow and cleanse storm water runoff.  These design features also bring the entire site to net zero storm water. 

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Based on input from residents, the station’s exterior plaza has 14 columns representing the district’s neighborhoods. Each column displays an iconic image and community story. The building has a rain garden with a community feature (right).

An artistic map displaying the district’s neighborhoods adorns a wall in the lobby of the station, and the map includes images of iconic buildings, parks, or public spaces from each neighborhood. The glass walls of the station’s community room are also decorated with notable buildings from each neighborhood, laser-etched into the glass.

“It’s an incredibly cool project,” Katherine Keough-Jurs, Cincinnati’s senior city planner said. “We’ve never engaged the community to this extent with a public building. This has been such a fantastic process.”

Keough-Jurs said the city’s planning department will likely use the District 3 headquarters project as a model for future public buildings.

Sources:,, HPB Magazine

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