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

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