Elements of Urbanism: Columbus, Ohio

July 31, 2012 26 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Metro Jacksonville visits a peer community with a vibrant downtown in Central Ohio: Columbus


As a Jaxson passing through Columbus, here are a few things that stood out to me that tend to visually add life to downtown Columbus.  All three are areas where Jacksonville tends to struggle.

1. Architectural Diversity

From the modern Franklin County Courthouse to the inclusion of the former Union Station Arch as a part of McFerson Commons, it is clear that the promotion of architectural creativity is alive and well in downtown Columbus.

2. Building Signage

Building signage is one of the major visual and physical differences between downtown Columbus and downtown Jacksonville.  The unique combination of signage and using buildings as advertising creates a flair of life that doesn't exist in Jacksonville's Northbank.

3. Maintenance of Public Spaces

The excellent maintenance of public parks and spaces clearly standout in downtown Columbus.  Founded in 1947, the City of Columbus Parks and Recreation Department provides the highest quality park and recreation services for the citizens of Columbus. Responsible for the maintenance and improvement of over 600 acres of park land and over 19 miles of People Trails, the Department has completed over $20 million in development projects, including the nationally recognized $8 million Mill Race Park. Columbus Parks and Recreation Department also provides programming and facilities for use by the community.

4. Urban Housing Diversity

The diversity in urban housing profucts also separate downtown Columbus from downtown Jacksonville.  Rowhouses, townhouses, lofts, high rise condominium towers and mid-20th century office buildings into apartments all blend together to provide downtown Columbus' 11,000 residents with a place to stay.

Article and images by Ennis Davis

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