Envision a Columbus with a more vibrant downtown, one that is hopping every night of the week, with evening attractions that bring out crowds who linger for dinner or drinks — and even has a bustling downtown grocery.
Envision a Columbus filled with tree-lined streets, with small neighborhood parks complimenting much larger ones such as Donner, Noblitt and Mill Race.
Envision a Columbus with more downtown street festivals and beer gardens, a city that’s easier to navigate by vehicle, bicycle or on foot, with signage that will point the way for visitors and residents alike.
Now you can.
A public-engagement process has begun for the Envision Columbus Downtown Strategic Development Plan, initiated by the Heritage Fund and funded with a $573,000 grant from The Cummins Foundation.
Ideas are being sought for a geographical area bounded by 22nd Street on the north, the Flatrock and East Fork White rivers on the west, the confluence of the East Fork White River and Haw Creek on the south, and California Street on the east.
Led by a 23-member steering committee, Envision Columbus carries with it a commitment to devise a plan for the future driven by the wishes of the city’s people.
It will replace the city’s 2005 strategic plan, which has been largely fulfilled.
“This is just the beginning,” steering committee member Rick Johnson, president of Johnson Ventures, told a key stakeholders group of about 45 people Wednesday night — many of them representing local not-for-profit groups, key employers and business leaders.
For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.