The Lay of the Land in the Columbus Success Story

Aaron Renn recently explored Columbus, Ohio, where he found a city fueled by growth and doing many things right, but lacking the differentiation it merits among the country's urban marketplaces.

"Columbus is basically what I mean by the 'best practices,' city – they are implementing all the best practices in the marketplace, but haven’t yet developed a compelling, unique brand positioning," writes Aaron Renn.

Renn takes the reader through a neighborhood-by-neighborhood presentation of the development events around Columbus—examining neighborhoods like Short North, Grandview Heights, Easton Town Center, and a neighborhood attracting a lot of buzz called Franklinton. Renn also discusses familiar urban themes like bike and car share, river restoration, and downtown green space.

On that last point, and in the article's harshest criticism, Renn revisits the site of the now demolished City Center Mall, which has been converted into a park called the Columbus Commons. Renn uses the park to make a point about the lack of thought devoted to the creation of green space in many cities. Renn says, is an example of "build it and they will come" planning due to a lack of surrounding density in residential and commercial properties.

Full Story: Checking In On Columbus

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95