The City in 2050: Creating Blueprints for Change

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Effectiveness—incorporating practical experience into programming; and providing content, programs, and outreach efforts that are forward thinking and that can have an impact on the community. It is about building for people and about building in harmony with the natural environment—not in spite of it.

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Columbus Creating Blueprints for Change by MKSK - Issuu

Creating Blueprints for Change. ULI Columbus has demonstrated great leadership in convening a community-based conversation, which culminates in this publication, Columbus Creating Blueprints for Change, ULI Columbus has systematically explored the underlying drivers of community growth, sustainability, and resilience. Around the world, the trends related to urban transformation are coming into focus:.

By , we will be joined by an additional 3 billion people, of which 2 billion will live in urbanized areas and be rooted in the economics of the middle class;. While mega-cities expand in Asia, Africa, and South America, the United States is the only fully industrialized country to aggressively grow its metropolitan centers;. By , the United States will have added over million people, with the majority living in urban communities.

Across the country, average households will be both smaller and older;. Emerging policies and new technologies related to energy, water, health care, and education will transform local and national economies as we know them today. From shifting demographics to new market preferences; from creative mixed-use development to decentralized energy production; from innovations in green building to advances in distribution and logistics; the city in will be the product of countless acts of innovation. We would like to congratulate all the individuals who participated in the ULI Columbus initiative to formulate this publication.

This publication marks a beginning for ULI Columbus to engage, educate, and inform—and represents a tool that will trigger dialogue and actions leading to positive outcomes through community development. Creating Blueprints for Change, our project, Columbus , provides a collaborative forum for land development leaders within the public and private sectors, as well as the general public, to focus on the following themes: Metro Metrics; Plan It. This publication,Columbus , is intended to be the start of the dialogue that is needed as we plan for and beyond.

As this dialogue continues, you are invited to provide questions and comments at http: An undergraduate OSU class that met in the autumn quarter of reviewed existing and ongoing regional planning efforts to collect and analyze data. Eight public workshops were held on the City in themes, which included presentations by local experts and conversations among residents and local officials. Central Ohio is young, diverse, and growing. Today, with a population of over 2 million, more people live in the county region of Central Ohio than in the entire state of West Virginia.

The metrics of Central Ohio illustrate trends in population growth, economic strength, and patterns of development. Predictions include more—and more diverse—people in Central Ohio by To remain competitive, the region must plan to meet the needs of this growing and changing population. Forty years ago, Dublin, Ohio, had fewer than people and Delaware County had a population of 45,—approximately the same size of Dublin today.

Forty years from now, as we look back on the Central Ohio of , undoubtedly we will be amazed at how much has changed. Accommodating and Attracting Future Growth By , an estimated , more people will live in the region. It added , between and alone. Simply put, Central Ohio will absorb a population equal to the entire city of Boston over the next 40 years. Absorbing this population will take careful planning and could create untenable demands on public infrastructure and tax revenues if not managed smartly. Central Ohio will absorb a population equal to the entire city of Boston over the next 40 years.

There are currently , housing units in Central Ohio. If current residential building trends continue, adding , new housing units will consume an additional square miles of land, approximately the size of the area within the I outer belt. Just adding rooftops does not address all of the challenges surrounding housing. Condition, amenities, and technology integration in the existing housing stock are just as important as the location of new housing.

Moreover, changes in demographics and the costs associated with expanding public infrastructure are drivers that affect the residential marketplace. The region is becoming increasingly diverse. Though not as diverse as the nation, 60 percent of the people added to the region over the past ten years were from a non-Caucasian ethnic background, which parallels the national trend. Over the past ten years, one of every five new people came here from a different country. In fact, 53 percent of the foreign-born population entered the region during the past 10 years. Approximately one of every 12 people who live in Central Ohio does not speak English well.

Spanish, Chinese, and languages from African countries constitute 60 percent of the foreign languages spoken. Coleman, Mayor, City of Columbus In addition to ethnicity and culture, the age structure of the region is changing. In part because of a large university population, the region historically has been young. An aging population will require more services, be less mobile, and have different housing needs from what is available today. Ensuring a Place for Central Ohio in the Global Economy Central Ohio has nearly 1 million jobs, and the strength of the economy lies in part in the diversity of its industries.

Central Ohio has world-class medical and research facilities. Being home to national and regional headquarters for retail, financial, insurance, and fast food corporations has historically kept the unemployment rate of the region relatively low. Many businesses based in Central Ohio have an international presence. In , foreignowned businesses were located in the Columbus region, representing 37 countries.

These companies employ more than 39, workers, which represents 4. Assurance of Having a Skilled Workforce To accommodate the expected population, a minimum of , new jobs will need to be created. Retail trade currently represents approximately 13 percent of total employment. Having a skilled workforce that is prepared and adaptive to business needs is critical to the economic success of the region. Ensuring a skilled workforce starts with how we educate our children. Delivering lessons across the Internet is gaining in popularity.

Political boundaries that define school districts may become blurred as teachers interact virtually with students, rather than in the physical classroom. Changes are also taking hold in workplaces. Forty years ago, there were no desktop computers or email. Between and , the number of people in Central Ohio who worked from home increased by 67 percent to 44, In , 20 percent of the regional workforce conducted business that did not rely on a 9-to-5 schedule.

Entrepreneurship will also play a larger role in the future economy.

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Today, four of five businesses in Central Ohio employ fewer than 20 workers, whereas larger businesses employ 80 percent of the workforce. Unfortunately, between and , the median income of the region remained relatively stagnant. Protect and Enhance the Assets That Make Central Ohio Unique Rich soil, abundant water, and a centralized location that attracted pioneers more than years ago will continue to be magnets for attracting new populations.

Agriculture is a fundamental element of the Central Ohio economy. Abundant opportunity lies in expanding upon business opportunities that use value-added processes to turn raw materials into finished products, as well as in providing food to local and global markets. And the locally grown food movement continues to gain a strong foothold in Central Ohio. Moving goods is a critical piece of the national and international economy. Louis Raleigh Charlotte Nashville Columbia. The logistics industry is poised for continued success. However, the interstate infrastructure that connects the region has reached the end of its life cycle.

Facilities built 50 years ago are in need of repair, and through reconstruction, opportunities exist to reconnect neighborhoods that were disconnected half a century ago. Bring on the Good Life As life expectancy lengthens, people will work well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65 years.

The senior workers of the future are the people who are just now entering the workforce. The culture these workers are bringing to their companies and communities will set the tone for the next 40 years. However, to retain them, Central Ohio must showcase other quality-of-life attributes, such as housing choices, transportation options, and recreational access.

The ways in which we choose to interact with natural systems, people, and the economy will have vast and cascading influences on the future of the region and on future generations. We have choices to make to achieve the kind of overall environment that will make Central Ohio the place to which other cities will aspire. Growing Up, Not Out Decades of Vitality Factors such as a growing economy, abundant land, centralized utilities, absence of natural limitations, and an extensive highway system have all contributed to tremendous growth in Central Ohio. A diverse economic base has helped the region weather economic downturns and has fueled demand for new development.

The region is often depicted in the media as a bright spot in the Midwest for its relative prosperity at a time when other areas have struggled. With its ability to grow territorially, Columbus was the only major city in Ohio to gain population in the period between and In , Columbus had a population of , and an overall density of about 9, people per square mile. By , the population was ,, and the average density had fallen to about 3, people per square mile.

The past 30 years have seen a modest increase in density, but it remains a fraction of the peak. This pattern has been supported and encouraged by the largely autonomous land use decisions, development policies, and regulations of scores of local governments within the region. Newer development has taken place farther from established population centers and generally has been focused along or beyond the I outer belt, where land is readily available.

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In these areas, land uses are segregated in a manner that requires using an automobile for even the most basic purposes. Residential areas are further segmented into different densities, unit types, and price ranges with little or no interconnection. Retail has followed new residential developments and higher disposable incomes, yet these new retail outlets typically are not pedestrian-friendly or accessible by public transportation.

Impact of Outward Development Many older communities throughout the region have experienced ongoing disinvestment leading to population loss, high vacancy rates, neglected buildings, and deteriorating infrastructure. Neighborhoods with once vital populations and commerce struggle to support the most basic businesses.

Communities have invested tremendous resources in their attempts to stem decline but are unable to counter stronger trends supporting the outward movement of people and business. Although policies and regulations are in place to protect some of the most critical natural areas, such as floodplains and wetlands, the ecological benefit of many such resources has been permanently lost. Farmland, often well suited for development, is even more vulnerable. The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission estimates that between and more than square miles of agricultural land were lost to development.

While all of this land may not have been lost to development, the loss was most pronounced in areas with the highest levels of growth. Growing Inward Projections show the region will need , new residential units by The region has the capacity to absorb much, perhaps most, of both types of this growth within areas of existing development. The demand for this new housing may not follow historic trends of the large-lot, singlefamily homes that were built in the suburbs. The building industry estimates that due to the economic slowdown, enough vacant building lots are platted to accommodate 15 years worth of population growth.

And because of the housing crisis experienced during the second half of the last decade, the region had 12, more vacant housing units in than in , more than the entire city of Hilliard. In total, 79, vacant housing units are available in the region. That is how many housing units stand vacant. Taking this into account, an additional , units will be required to meet the demands of the future population. For reference, approximately , housing units were added to the regional market since Thousands of acres of vacant or underutilized land, as well as millions of square feet of empty commercial and industrial space, sit idle.

The areas where these vacancies exist generally are well served by public transportation, and have excess infrastructure capacity and a range of uses. In other words, they already have the structural elements necessary for vital active communities. However, even if half of the units currently vacant were reoccupied or rebuilt, the region would still need an additional , units. The Pizzuti Companies, Arquitectonica. Development Shift Beginning Communities throughout the region are already focusing more attention on their older core areas.

This is true of both landlocked communities and those with capacity for further territorial expansion. While a focus on the older parts of the region is driven in part by a desire to revitalize declining areas, it is also a direct response to changing demographics and market forces. Studies show that people have a growing interest in neighborhoods that are characterized by a strong urban fabric—mixed-use properties, higher population densities, entertainment options, and access to public transportation.

Many older residents share with their younger counterparts this desire for a more urban lifestyle with smaller residences and fewer maintenance responsibilities. From to , the population of downtown Columbus grew by 40 percent. Even during a national recession, development interest and activity in downtown have been strong. Recent investments in downtown Columbus parks, bike and pedestrian paths, cultural amenities, and educational institutions reinforce this trend. While Columbus is the largest urban center in the region, other communities are turning their attention to infill and more urban forms of development.

Grandview Heights and Nationwide Realty Investors are investing in a new mixed-use development at Grandview Yard, and Upper Arlington is creating an entertainment district on Lane Avenue. The plan calls for the creation of a new, walkable downtown with mixed-use infill and new development that includes entertainment destinations, restaurants, and housing. This formerly underutilized area of the city has rapidly developed since into a thriving, mixed-use urban neighborhood.

Other communities have developed zoning overlays, revised parking standards, and mixed-use districts to encourage redevelopment and infill projects in areas where traditional zoning has proven unsuccessful. This emphasis on redevelopment and infill brings needed investment to our central cities and older neighborhoods and helps create the population base necessary for supporting additional businesses and services. The most successful projects have been characterized by high-quality designs, which in turn have been supported by the higher densities and mix of uses they incorporate.

They also have involved close collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as a willingness to consider new policy ideas and regulatory tools. Looking to the Future Collaboration among communities is necessary if the region is to be sustainable and vital in the future. Although the region has experienced a lower rate of growth in recent years due in part to national economic trends, expectations are that Central Ohio will have hundreds of thousands of additional residents over the next several decades. The policies, regulations, and funding frameworks that have guided the patterns and forms of development during the past 40 years will not be adequate to manage this growth.

Most population growth and new economic investment should take place within areas of existing development. Communities must increasingly be characterized by vibrant downtowns, neighborhoods, and business districts that incorporate high-quality design and a range of uses and densities. Costs will be another challenge. The cost of maintaining and extending infrastructure and services has outpaced economic growth in the region. Central Ohio has seen a pattern of development that blurs the line between rural and urban, diluting the strengths of both.

Focusing growth and investment in areas of existing development makes economic sense and supports desirable communities. The changes necessary to support these objectives will take time, but great local examples are already in place. The many jurisdictions of the region operate independently but are also inextricably linked. Many have already demonstrated their ability to collaborate on issues such as transportation, utility service, and solid-waste management.

Local governments and the private sector will need to work together even more closely as they address the questions and challenges of managing growth in the face of increasingly limited resources. Central Ohio must develop and execute a comprehensive development strategy that emphasizes building within the existing developed footprint.

Restoring and Growing the Lungs of Our Region Importance of Open Space Central Ohio is rich in natural and open-space resources with thousands of miles of streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs encompassing 16 metro parks with miles of trails and more than city and community parks. Open-space and natural resources are important contributors to the quality of life of both current and future residents.

Access to and protection of open space will be central to the ongoing success of the region in terms of both preservation and attraction and retention of residents. As our population increases, additional development pressure will occur on natural resources. By focusing the majority of population growth and new economic investment within areas of existing development and using open space to define development strategies, Central Ohio will become a leader in protecting natural resources and providing unique recreational and open-space amenities.

Properly planned and protected, these natural and open-space assets can be used to manage the entire ecosystem, shaping development patterns and the built environment, while at the same time providing recreational opportunities and preserving habitat. Continue to invest in and protect open space to improve the economic, social, and environmental health of the region.

Create an integrated, cohesive open-space network that connects greenways, trails, parks, and open space to neighborhoods and commercial districts. Expand the geographic coverage of Metro Parks to form a robust and regionally funded maintenance and management entity for this interconnected openspace network. Role of Open Space in the Urban Realm Parks and public spaces are essential to the economic, social, and environmental health of communities. These assets provide a multitude of benefits for communities, including creating public gathering spaces; connecting residents, workers, and visitors to nature; improving public health; and spurring economic development and revitalization.

Open space generates community cohesion by providing a venue for daily social interaction. In addition to day-to-day use, these spaces are venues for special events and community gatherings. Residents with convenient access to open space maintain better physical health.

Residents of cities with parks, attractive waterfronts, tree-lined streets, playgrounds, and trails report a higher degree of satisfaction with their communities. Scales of Open Space It is important to distinguish between open-space systems and the scales of park and natural infrastructure that are essential to a livable community. To succeed in protecting and enhancing open-space opportunities throughout Central Ohio, it will be important to consider all types of open space.

These include the following:. Open-space networks that connect Central Ohio to other regions of the state. For example, the Ohio-to-Erie bicycle trail will eventually link Columbus to Cincinnati and Cleveland. Portions of the bicycle trail are already in place, and the trail between Columbus and Cincinnati is nearly complete. This trail will be an important link for both local and visiting cyclists. Located in the middle, Columbus will enjoy a significant future source of tourism activity and revenue. Open space that is designated to serve the entire region. Examples are state parks, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and greenways that are typically, but not always, located along the rural-suburban fringe.

These areas provide more extensive recreational options due to their size. Combined with conservation areas and conservation easements, these larger tracts of land can be used to protect extensive areas of open space, shaping development and preserving natural resources. Parks and open spaces that are designed to be a destination for local and community-wide events.

While used on a daily basis, these facilities can accommodate larger community gatherings and sporting events. Parks and open space intended for daily use by area residents who primarily live nearby. These parks and open spaces provide a wide variety of functions, depending on community needs and space considerations. These are extremely small-scale parks, plazas, and open spaces primarily found within denser urban areas. They provide seating, shade, and quiet space away from the urban environment. Often tucked into leftover spaces, pocket parks can add a dynamic vibrancy to the streetscape.

Investment in all different scales of open space should be encouraged throughout the region. As new development occurs, meaningful open space should be created that links with existing open-space systems. It includes requirements on the size, type, and location of open space that should be created for new development.

It has generated a variety of neighborhood-level parks throughout several residential developments in the city. The cooperation between Columbus, New Albany, and Plain Township is an example of a joint effort to create a regional park working in conjunction with Metro Parks. Conservation of critical habitats and open space is a joint effort of Columbus, Franklin County, several townships, and Metro Parks in the Darby watershed. Creating Integrated Connections Open spaces of all types and scale should be connected to each other to build a network of open space throughout the region.

Improved access to natural areas will increase quality of life and positively affect surrounding property values. This can be accomplished through a more interconnected open-space system that is accessible by bike paths and trails that link parks, greenways, and conservation areas to neighborhoods and commercial and employment centers. The combination of waterways and existing greenways and open spaces in Central Ohio provides a start to creating a green system that can serve as the arteries of Central Ohio. Across the region, the opportunity exists to improve urban and community surroundings with parks, trails, and streetscapes that unite neighborhoods.

Currently, the park and trail system in the Central Ohio Region is not as connected as it could be. Increasing the ties between parks and natural areas to urban life will increase the overall health of cities and communities. With a complete network of trails, parks will be connected along natural corridors. The Central Ohio region is wealthy with waterways, which offer many assets to the communities surrounding them. Watersheds protect surrounding natural assets such as wildlife habitats, trails, and streams by providing a method for resource management that transcends municipal boundaries.

Using the river corridors and watersheds will connect people to the natural systems surrounding them by providing opportunities for passive and active use. Additionally, when the interconnected park system is designed to include stream networks, wetlands, and other low-lying areas, the network can provide multiple benefits to stormwater management, which creates an efficient system to store, carry, and filter storm runoff.

The Scioto watershed offers a way to tie together the rural and urban lands in the Columbus area. It encompasses a majority of the counties in the Central Ohio region and stretches south to the Ohio River. The Scioto watershed also contains around 21 sub-watersheds. The use of the stream corridors, which connect across the watershed, provides opportunities for trails connecting the region.

Realizing the Vision Central Ohio has already done an admirable job of implementing greenway trail programs and has removed some low-head dams on smaller streams, namely, on Alum Creek and upstream portions of the Olentangy River. Interconnecting these individual greenway projects and river restoration efforts into a networked system of trails and links along naturalized waterways will be the task of the next few decades. As an example of the type of thinking needed to improve connections and river health, the Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan advanced a strategic vision for removing low-head dams on the Scioto and Olentangy rivers to create a This catalytic idea builds on the recent financial investment and current plans to restore river health.

In downtown Columbus, nearly all of the riverfront park system from North Bank Park and the Scioto Mile to Scioto Audubon Metro Park has been remade into an outstanding park destination. With the removal of the Main Street dam, the initial link in this river greenway system will be created between OSU and downtown Columbus. In time, this model can extend north along the river corridor, connecting neighborhoods to the river and to downtown Columbus. Looking ahead, other greenways in Central Ohio can be developed in a similar manner, connecting linear stream corridors to existing parks, open spaces, neighborhoods, and commercial areas.

To implement interconnected greenways elsewhere in Central Ohio, a variety of tools, standards, and development techniques are needed at each level of government to ensure that open spaces are preserved where appropriate, parks are established, and the network of trails is extended throughout the region. These tools include the following:. Development standards that manage stormwater while protecting natural drainage ways, protect mature tree stands, preserve and buffer wetlands, and protect other natural features from the adverse impacts of development;.

Funding mechanisms to ensure that resources are not only protected for future generations but also can be adequately maintained. Maintenance and Management In order to maintain and manage this interconnected system of open spaces, a new approach is needed. One possibility will be to blur jurisdictional boundaries by expanding the role of Metro Parks in the region. The majority of the money used to operate Metro Parks in Central Ohio comes from property tax levied on Franklin County residents.

Central Ohio will have to implement a funding approach that allows parks in every county to receive necessary funding. While each jurisdiction could still manage its own parks on an individual basis, a common fund could be created to allow for the expansion of greenway and trail systems that are proposed as part of the vision for Additional funds for water conservation, land protection, and corridors could come from foundations, corporations, nonprofits, and private citizens, but Central Ohio will need to come together to fully achieve this regional vision for open space.

Competitive Edge This vision for supports the economic vitality of the Central Ohio community by conserving natural areas, maintaining a dynamic natural landscape, connecting and enhancing open spaces, and funding a regional network through public and private resources. This big idea will permanently protect natural habitats and open spaces from the center of Columbus to the rural outskirts. When compared with its global competition, the Columbus area will stand out for being an environmentally friendly place to live, work, and play. Having protected and connected green corridors will enhance quality of life and draw new residents and corporations.

Central Ohio must create a robust, regionally funded, integrated space network that reaches across jurisdictional lines. Imagine an easy commute to work by catching the morning train. Imagine quick, lowpollutant travel options that carry us to a thriving downtown, and welcoming pedestrian ways that entice people out of their cars to shop in their own neighborhoods. Imagine long bike rides through the rural countryside and stops at vibrant suburban town centers for lunch.

Imagine Columbus as a pulsing hour city filled with the sounds of people and activity. It is all part of a very real future for Central Ohio, and a comprehensive transportation system can help us get there. Create a Regionally Supported Transportation Vision The region would gain a return on an investment in a mass rail transit system. The absorption of , more people and , more jobs will strain existing transportation infrastructure and services. People will continue to walk on sidewalks and ride their bikes on bikeways, but while automobiles, buses, and trucks continue to be the primary modes to move people and goods, our aging roads and bridges will need to be maintained.

Committing resources to build and operate an expanded mass transit system will be expensive yet necessary for the region to compete for skilled labor, combat rising energy costs, and prepare for diminishing fossil fuel resources. The transportation system required is complex, and the vision will need to be comprehensive.

At minimum, it will need collective agreement among residents, business, and political leadership to financially support the following:. Denser and more diverse land use, development, and redevelopment to cater to a wider range of lifestyles and allow the new transportation investments to be successful. Building and maintaining greenways that flow through the region that form a natural framework for a regional trail system for hikers and bikers;. Expanding national and international air connections, as well as improving ground connections between the airports and the urban core, which are necessary for hosting national events and conventions; and.

Rebuilding our aging interstate system that rings the city of Columbus and links Central Ohio to national markets, which is necessary for Central Ohio to maintain its position as a leader in logistics. Establishing a common voice to accomplish these things will propel the region toward the goal of raising Columbus above its peers. The common voice needs to be loud to get the attention of state and national leaders. Current funding mechanisms for transportation are unsustainable.

Reliance on a gas tax to support roadway maintenance, while at the same time encouraging alternative fuels and more fuel efficient vehicles is an unsustainable business model. Relying on sales taxes to fund transit with receipts that rise when times are good and ridership declines and fall when times are bad and ridership increases is another funding system destined to fail. Local actions to clearly define transportation solutions are a start, but ultimately, funding challenges at the state and national levels will need to be resolved to build new infrastructure.

Current transportation funding methods need to be dismantled for the nation to maintain its global economic foothold and for Central Ohio to compete and achieve prosperity for its residents. Lay Tracks for Future Success Columbus is one of the largest cities in the country that does not have a fixed-guideway mass transit system e. The area relies entirely on fixed-route bus service for public transportation. Census data collected between and show that more people walked to work than used public transportation in every county in the Central Ohio region, including Franklin County.

However, that will not be true in the future. An aging population, lifestyle preferences of younger. Now is the time to prepare for additional travel options. Additional options should include light rail.


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Bus routes and light rail have been investigated seven times since , with the most recent study completed in Unfortunately, up to now, public support has been insufficient to encourage regional leadership to pursue light rail construction. Experience, wisdom, and lessons learned should be used to motivate Columbus to establish a transit system that riders can rely on for hour service. Commuter Travel Modes in Central Ohio Central Ohio has an advantage over other communities because of the amount of work that it has already done on transit, which includes the following:.

The North Corridor in Columbus is approximately 15 miles long. The local community would need to secure 25 percent of the initial costs from the state and contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the cost of construction, plus all of the operating costs. Moreover, many communities around the nation are competing for the same funding, and consequently, a multi-year-long waiting period exists for available funds.

Having a recognized mass transit system will help advance the region toward the good life that its people crave. Even so, communities have it in their power now to prepare for the transportation system of the future by altering their development methods to accommodate public transportation and nonvehicular traffic. Planners and designers who pay attention to bus stop locations and agreed-to design standards visibly elevate transit as a travel option.

Reducing conflict points between modes allows travelers to move from one mode to another seamlessly and with greater safety. A deliberate approach toward developing in ways that put more pedestrians on the streets can build momentum for attracting businesses and connecting people to their communities. Local communities have tools they can adapt or use now to start moving toward being an attractive, livable, walkable, and lifelong community. Some of these actions include.

Redeveloping areas so housing and many of the services people use every day are within walking and cycling distance of each other; and. Embrace the Future Transportation connects market economies and connects people to their neighborhoods. It creates the hustle and bustle that make communities hum.

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Coordinated commitment to investing in a complete and comprehensive transportation system that includes more transit options using exclusive right-of-way will move Columbus toward being a 24hour city. Create a Net-Zero-Energy Region Energy and utility systems are so integral to functioning communities, they often go without notice. They power our homes and businesses, supply clean water, protect our environment, and enable us to communicate with each other. As we move toward , our ability to maintain and improve these systems will determine our viability as a region.

We will have to reinvent, revalue, and repurpose current infrastructure, assets, and resources, based on local, national, and global trends and impacts, which include the following:. How Much Do We Use? How Much Will We Need? As sources of freshwater worldwide continue to dwindle, we must ensure that our region has safe and plentiful sources. In , the Columbus Department of Public Utilities produced an average million gallons of water per day for distribution throughout its system, which serves more than 1.

The region has many water sources, including the Scioto River, the Olentangy River, and several smaller tributary creeks. Central Ohio also is fortunate to have an extensive aquifer system, supplying millions of gallons per day to community systems and individual homes. All of these sources will be necessary to meet anticipated growth projections. Central Ohio is estimated to add another , people by Given current water use rates, this population would require an additional , gallons of water per day. Responding to this demand will be costly.

A 9 billion-gallon reservoir currently is under construction in southern Delaware County. Work is also underway to expand well fields in the region. Areas that are currently being used for quarry activity may one day serve as additional water sources. Urban Planning and Real Estate Development. Planning Small and Mid-Sized Towns. The First Time Homebuyer Book. Urban Design and People. The Art of the Deal Summary.


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