The Cincinnati Skywalk system was first introduced in 1957 by then director of planning Herbert W. Stevens. The intention of the system was to give pedestrians an easy way to navigate the city away from the perceived dangers of the streets. The first piece of the Skywalk was built in 1971 connecting the convention center to Fountain Square. Over the next two decades, more sections were added creating a 1.3-mile long system that spanned 15 blocks. The Skywalk kept pedestrians warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and protected them from the rain and snow. It connected offices, stores, hotels, and restaurants.
With the recent rebirth of the city and renewed connection to the streets, the Skywalk has fallen into disfavor and is not used as much as it once was. Parts of the Skywalk are closed and some parts just come to a dead end. It is still possible to walk parts of the city using the system, but not as much as one originally could.
Check out Queen City Discovery's Virtual Tour of the Skywalk here and a map of the skywalk here.