A Riverfront with Results: Downtown Columbus
You'll learn about:
How continual planning can establish common community goals and enable flexibility, creativity and high-quality improvements and investments
How to leverage public buy-in and private sector support to overcome challenges and realize opportunities
How to build strategic partnerships to fast track fundraising and implementation
The 1998 Riverfront Vision Plan clearly established the need for a revitalized riverfront that would contribute to the image of Columbus by connecting neighborhoods and becoming a regional destination. No longer overlooked and underutilized, planners envisioned a riverfront that would be a restored ecological corridor and a catalyst for community reinvestment. This initial public process set the stage for numerous improvements and investments, including five new downtown riverfront parks, the removal of two low-head dams, a restored riverfront ecosystem, revitalized neighborhoods and new urban districts.
Since 1998, additional planning processes have occurred to revisit and recalibrate these objectives. In 2002, the City of Columbus convened the public to develop a Strategic Business Plan for downtown. It also created an implementation entity, the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) to guide riverfront park and neighborhood projects and to liaise with the public and private sectors to design improvements and raise funds. In 2010, the Downtown Plan was revised to reflect completed projects and improvements. With the riverfront park system largely in place, the public now envisioned a free-flowing, naturalized river that allowed people to re-engage with the Scioto River. This set the stage for the final phase of riverfront revitalization that is nearing completion today with the Scioto Greenways project.
The achievements of the Downtown Columbus Riverfront during the intervening 18 years can be measured in concrete terms. The City, the CDDC and the private sector worked side by side to facilitate the investment of over $127 million in 179 acres of new and renovated parkland. This infusion of capital has led to the return of millions of visitors to the riverfront annually and has triggered nearly $1.4 billion in additional private investment in the neighborhoods and urban districts that surround the Scioto River. The nearly 2,000 residential units built in RiverSouth, the Arena District and East Franklinton have helped population of Downtown Columbus to more than double since the Vision Plan was published—the first increase since 1950.
This session will reveal the methods and results of the three public planning processes that set the stage for the park improvements, neighborhood redevelopment and ecological restoration of the riverfront. Speakers will explain the challenges of building a system of urban riverfront parks, including railroad bridges, flood controls, historic architecture, low-head dams, brownfield sites, aging public infrastructure, and combined sewer overflows. The importance of public-private partnerships will be addressed, highlighting how the City and the CDDC forged interagency cooperation to streamline funding and implementation. Finally, the economic development impact of these investments—ranging from grassroots revitalization in the East Franklinton Creative Community to the creation of a new mixed-use sports, entertainment, office and residential neighborhood in the Arena District—will be discussed. The Downtown Columbus Riverfront won the 2016 APA National Planning Award of Excellence for Implementation.
, Columbus Downtown Development Corp
Confirmed SpeakerA leading figure in central Ohio’s business, civic and public service community, Mr. Worley is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of responsible leadership, management, and financial experience. Since January 2007, Mr. Worley has served as President/Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) and Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. In this role, Mr. Worley is focused on the redevelopment and revitalization of Downtown Columbus, Ohio. Some of his city-changing projects include the renovation of the Lazarus Building into 700,000 square feet of office space, the redevelopment of the former City Center Mall site now known as Columbus Commons, the creation of the Scioto Mile, Columbus’ riverfront park, and the restoration of the Scioto River and creation of a new greenways along the downtown waterway corridor. Columbus Commons, Scioto Mile and Scioto Greenways are all nationally recognized and award winning projects. Current projects include the development of the new Ohio Veterans Memorial and Museum and the creation of a new park and parking garage on the Scioto Peninsula Previously, Mr. Worley served as Chief of Staff for Mayor Michael B. Coleman in Columbus, Ohio the 15th largest city in the United States. Mr. Worley was an Executive Consultant in Performance Management and Budgeting with CGI-AMS’ Advantage ERP service line in Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to that, Mr. Worley served as County Administrator for the Franklin County Board of Commissioners in Columbus, Ohio. As the Chief Executive Officer for the 33rd largest county in the United States, Mr. Worley was responsible for the administration, planning, budgeting and staffing of the County Commissioners’ organization. Mr. Worley currently is an Instructor of Performance Management and Budgeting at the Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Mr. Worley earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Master’s Degree in Public Administration at The Ohio State University.
Confirmed SpeakerAs a Principal for MKSK, Mr. Overbeck has been involved in a variety of projects, such as municipal planning, long-range planning, and urban design. He has worked with MKSK’s landscape architecture studio on urban design, educational, corporate, and park planning projects and on downtown and campus master plans. Mr. Overbeck was the project manager for the award-winning 2010 Downtown Columbus Strategic Plan that spurred the Scioto Greenway project and has worked closely on the resulting feasibility study and design and implementation. He has also led downtown plans for Louisville, Toledo and Akron. Mr. Overbeck is a 2005 graduate of the Ohio State University, with a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, and a 1997 graduate of Earlham College with a Bachelor’s in Politics. Prior to attaining his planning degree, Mr. Overbeck was a journalist spending six years covering national and international real estate development. He has worked with the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C. on a variety of publications, most recently as a contributing author to the 2012 report “Columbus 2050: Creating Blueprints for Change,” and the 2006 book “Creating Walkable Places.” He is an adjunct faculty member in urban planning and landscape architecture at the Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture. He also serves as the chair of the Clintonville Area Commission’s Planning and Development Committee and is a board member of Central Ohio Greenways.
, City of Columbus Planning Division
Invited SpeakerKevin Wheeler serves as the administrator of the Columbus Planning Division. The division manages the city’s historic preservation, annexation and public art programs; undertakes neighborhood and special project planning; and staffs several design review commissions. Kevin began working at the City in 1987 as a graduate intern and has been with Columbus for most of his career. He has managed or served as primary staff in a wide variety of work including numerous land use plans, growth policy initiatives, multi-jurisdictional efforts, major code development projects, and development review. Kevin received a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography from Miami University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.