Growing Inward series, sponsored by
Columbus Urban Growth Corporation, Columbus Metropolitan Club, Ohio Arts
Council and Greater Columbus Arts Council, along with 32 other for-profit
and nonprofit partners, brought nearly two dozen outstanding speakers to
Columbus. They were thoughtful, informative, entertaining, passionate and
committed as they spoke about current trends and new ideas in urban
development and city revitalization.
All of the speakers focused on how to strengthen traditional urban areas
to reduce the pressure for outward expansion into new areas. Far from
seeking to stop suburban development, Growing Inward sought to find ways to
enable already developed neighborhoods to grow in a planned way, along with
outer areas, for the benefit of the entire community.
The speakers' messages have been distilled into a Checklist for Change,
core ideas that came out of the three-year series. These recommendations -
which have been used successfully elsewhere - can make a difference in
Columbus. A viable, healthy metropolitan area with a high quality of life
that includes a 24-hour downtown; safe, convenient neighborhoods for people
of all incomes; conservation of valuable open space and an efficient
transportation system will not happen by accident. It will be the result of
sustained cooperative action throughout the metropolitan area. Here are
recommendations for addressing issues that will begin to move the Columbus
metropolitan area in the directions suggested by the speakers of the Growing
Those speakers brought broad national perspectives, observations about
future trends and ideas to strengthen and enhance Columbus's efforts to make
its metropolitan area, especially its downtown and existing urbanized areas,
lively and livable. This checklist can turn that information into a process
for change - beginning now.
Using the checklist will require visionary leadership from the public
sector, creative investment strategies from the private sector and an effort
by both sectors to collaborate for the good of the entire community.