Hamilton, Ohio

Hamilton OH night skyline

Joshua Smith, city manager of Hamilton, OH, (pop. 62,486) has been recognized for his contributions to the city’s economic development.

Development Counsellors International, a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing and placemaking, named Smith as a recipient of its inaugural “Forty Under 40” award. The award recognizes rising stars in economic development.

The award recognized Smith for his role in the newly created CORE (Consortium for Ongoing Reinvestment Efforts) Fund, which mobilizes private funding for redevelopment of Hamilton’s downtown and urban core.

As with many U.S. urban centers, Hamilton’s historic downtown had deteriorated and then found new life. It had lost its hotel and department store. Simultaneously, the largest private employer began to shift its workforce from downtown offices to a new location in another Ohio city. The downtown also lacked market-rate living opportunities, so buildings that had historically been mixed-use sat dark and empty.

The fundamental question of how to fix downtown Hamilton shifted from “How do we bring people downtown after 5 pm?” to “How do we put people downtown?”

In recent years, the hotel has been transformed into a Courtyard by Marriott; the first 29 market-rate living units in downtown were constructed and are virtually full; a downtown park and amphitheater are slated for completion in spring 2013; and a number of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, art galleries, and retail outlets have opened.

As Hamilton comes back to life, its downtown is attracting new “knowledge economy” businesses, as well as young professionals and empty-nesters alike who want to live downtown or in one of the three surrounding historic districts.

The Core Fund will now continue and enlarge on the progress of the last years. Read news coverage of Smith’s award and learn more about the CORE Fund.

Meet the Manager


Joshua Smith

City Manager
Joshua Smith has been Hamilton's city manager since October 2010. Before joining the city of Hamilton, Smith served as village administrator of Howard, WI; town administrator of Cedarburg, WI; city administrator of Monticello, IA; and deputy city administrator of Waukee, IA. He received a master of public administration degree with a concentration in public management from Iowa State University and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in organizational behavior & management from the University of Sioux Falls. He is a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University (2012), and has completed the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service Senior Executive Institute (2006) and the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (2000). He is involved in a number of Hamilton's community and civic organizations.