During its 62nd Annual Conference and Tradeshow in Atlanta this week, the International Downtown Association recognized the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation and the City of Columbus with a Certificate of Merit Award for its work and initiatives related to the Columbus Downtown Riverfront.
This 17-year effort to revitalize the Columbus Downtown Riverfront, restore the Scioto River, and catalyze private investment was among five qualified entries in the category of Planning. This category recognizes planning efforts that establish a strategic position for downtown with elements of the plan having already been approved, ratified, or implemented.
“The Columbus Downtown Development Corporation and the City of Columbus received the IDA Certificate of Merit for conducting best practice work in our industry of urban place management,” said David Downey, IDA President and CEO. “The Columbus Downtown Riverfront is a shining example of excellent downtown management delivering real value to the city.”
Across nearly two decades of continual planning and implementation, the Downtown Columbus Riverfront has been completely transformed. Improvements include five new riverfront parks, the removal of two low head dams, a restored river ecosystem, two new bridges, and revitalized neighborhoods and urban districts. These 179 acres of new and renovated parkland have substantial environmental benefits through the restoration of 78% of the Scioto River’s riparian edge and the planting of over 1,400 trees. Riverfront access has also been improved, with five new boat launches, 1.5 miles of new multi-use paths and 4 miles of new walking paths.
This investment of $127.5 million in parks and open space has catalyzed additional public and private sector development, with nearly $1.4 billion of investment in office, residential, retail and entertainment in surrounding neighborhoods to date. These investments have helped grow downtown’s residential population 108% since 2002.
Read about the transfomation for the Downtown Columbus Riverfront on MKSK's ISSUU page.
View the 2016 IDA Award winners HERE.