2014 Keynote Speaker: A Cooperative Approach to Downtown Development

Guy WorleyAttend DesignColumbus 2014 to hear keynote speaker Guy V. Worley, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) President/CEO, describe the process of implementing the 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan. His presentation, “Rebuilding Downtown Columbus,” will focus on recent projects, including the Scioto Greenways project and the Scioto Peninsula Strategic Land Use Plan.

Vibrant communities rarely come into being as a result of strict top-down management. Therefore, when the CDDC (a private, non-profit development organization) and the City of Columbus worked with MKSK (formerly MSI Design) to update the city’s previous downtown business plan, they strove not to mandate specific solutions but rather to organize and align various stakeholders. The result was a plan that provides a framework around which diverse groups can come together to create a community.

Public input helped shape the 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan from its earliest phases – more than 1,000 public comments were received relating to the overall vision for downtown. Ultimately, the plan conceptualized downtown as being schematically divided into three areas: the north-south High Street Core; the Discovery District, dominated by educational facilities, to the east; and the Riverfront District, located to the west on the Scioto Peninsula, which offers a variety of civic and cultural amenities.

The Riverfront District has received extensive advancement over the last couple years, and as the Scioto Greenways project is completed and the Scioto Peninsula Strategic Land Use Plan is developed and implemented, cooperation between the public and private sectors continues to shape redevelopment efforts. Projects recently completely by the CDDC have also benefited from investment and sponsorship by local corporations. For example, construction of the Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion at Columbus Commons was funded by a public-private partnership including the City of Columbus, AEP, Nationwide and more. Additionally, corporate partners sponsor events at Columbus Commons ranging from Downtown Live, a live concert series sponsored by Carter and the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, to Shakespeare in the Park, which is supported by the AT&T Foundation.

As Columbus continues to make strides in revitalizing its downtown, DesignColumbus 2014 attendees have the opportunity to learn about the Scioto Greenways project from initial idea to reality, including an update on the progress of construction. Additionally, “Rebuilding Downtown Columbus” will include an overview of the Scioto Peninsula Plan and its various components, including the public infrastructure and strategic investments in public spaces necessary to facilitate private development on the Peninsula.

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