Central Ohio 2015

Columbus Futurists have developed a “vision list” in response to the question:
“What will likely contribute most to the quality of life in central Ohio
by the year 2015?” 
Columbus Futurists were responding specifically to WBNS-10TV’s “Central Ohio 2015” community visioning initiative.  The futurists engaged in a focus group exercise that generated a top 5 list of “blue sky” ideas for the region that would revitalize Central Ohio.
By 2015, Columbus Futurists would like to see:

1) …Columbus City Schools rated “Excellent with Distinction.” High quality public education would also embrace life-long learning from cradle to grave and include practical and vocational learning in addition to an academic education.

2) …greater cooperation and convergence among the technical, R&D, university, design, and arts communities, turning Columbus into an innovation “hothouse.”Central Ohio would be rebranded for its creativity and innovation in the arts, entertainment, and business. 

3) …the creation of an environment that attracts and encourages new businesses, included investment capital.  A regional enterprise zone would make doing business easier and less expensive in central Ohio. 

4)… Central Ohio embrace green and efficient energy forms (both mobile and stationary) toward the goal of becoming energy self-sufficient; this includes public encouragement and infrastructure for hybrid and all-electric plug-in vehicles, and would include strong air quality standards, recycling, and strategies to combat carbon emissions.

5) …stronger, cleaner, greener and more affordable downtown  neighborhoods, with a high quality of life based on a sense of community, entertainment, shopping, and vibrant day and night life.

All Ideas generated in response to the topic question:

1.  Social input nurturing – encouraging people to make inputs to planning and development – encourage and channel people to do it

2.  More high growth companies – “high flying” [enterprises and companies] –get out of the mode of being too comfortable

3.  Keeping libraries open and participating in new technologies to foster community life

4.  Develop a comprehensive plan to protect central Ohio if rest of the country were attacked by nuclear or biological weapons [weapons of mass destruction]

5.  Improved, rationalized transportation plan – undo gridlock

6.  Higher level of awareness of community activities/resources – improved self-image

7.  Stronger, affordable neighborhoods with a vibrant street life

8.  Rebranding – “Innovation Belt” or “Green Belt” not “Rust Belt” – [Columbus is generally viewed as a “fly over” community]

9.  Downtown arts center integrated with Gateway and Wexner Center

10.  Put your money where your mouth is —  spend money locally and patronize local businesses, vendors, and entertainment

11.  Become more open minded that rest of the world is not like Columbus – what we lie may turn off others – an excessive amount of parochialness – do things differently – allow other people to do things differently

12.  Regional enterprise zone – economic incentives – a single office to coordinate permitting and to expedite businesses – tax breaks

13.  Educational system for age 1 through Grade 12 that is adequately funded

14.  Sustainable construction – LEED certification by U.S. Green Building Council

15.  Columbus Public Schools rated Excellent with Distinction

16.  Better air transportation – more direct flights – affordable air taxi

17.  Strongly encourage recycling/Green living

18.  a one cent tax to support entertainment centers and tourism

19.  test bed for application of alternative energy forms

20.  Robust and accessible adult education, life-long learning, and retraining – officially recognized with certifications

21.  Cooperation [convergence] among technical, R&D, design, and arts communities into an innovation city 

22.  Promote local sustainability in regard to water, food, and energy (local self-reliance)

23.  Improved air quality, including carbon emissions

24.  A central Ohio “linkedin” for startup and existing companies

25.  Focus on ourselves – self-criticism and self-awareness – recognize our own underlying problems

26.  Vocational training – practical knowledge and skills taught, especially at the high school level

27.  Programs for parents of newborns to promote the ability of babies to learn

28.  Electric vehicles with public recharging plugs available – public infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles

29.  Encourage and promote music and entertainment industry

30.  Metro-wide police, public services, etc.

31.  More robust investment community

32.  Movement toward regional government

33.  Public leadership program

34.  World-class symphony orchestra

35.  Become the Green Sedona of the Mid-West by promoting healthy life styles

36.  An expanded, environment friendly public transportation system connecting suburbs with downtown and running daily and late at night

37.  Make something real

38.  Challenge Ohio State to be energy self-sufficient

39.  Bio-energy products industry for fuels and polymers

40.  Promote a medical equipment industry

41.  Adopt a disease [pick and disease and cure it] – be the best [at some cure or treatment]

2 thoughts on “Central Ohio 2015

  1. Great list! I am a singer, guitarist and writer in my trio rock band named Brain Capital, currently performing and living in Portland,OR. Born and raised in Westervile, OH, I moved to Portland after graduating from Ohio University 6 years ago, and I was stoked to read this as I am planning to move back to Columbus and hoping to get involved in improving what I think is an underrated place with lots of potential. Soo my suggestion :
    PLEASE include bicycling in your vision of the future Columbus. A happy, bustling and safe bike culture (which needs bike public education initiatives that include safety, traffic laws etc., clear and helpful bike lane road signs that indicate direction, distance and time to key destinations, creating and spreading a city bike map and providing it free or at low cost)
    A healthy bike culture creates a greener, healthier, better quality of life encouraging more local business patronage along bike and pedestrian friendly streets, aiding in the sense of community, which not only reduces crime but helps foster neighborhood identity and civic involvement.
    More cyclist means less cars which in turns limits emissions, lessens congestion and frees up parkmg downtown. We should de-emphasize driving and support more people friendly streets, finding creative ways to encourage people to walk or bike be it as campaigns, tax incentives for ‘green commuters’, encourage businesses to provide more and better bike-lock areas for securely locking bikes for their employees and patrons alike. I could go on, I think you get my point. I love this list and am glad to see people wanting Columbus to be the rad city that it can be.
    ONE more thing : bike racks on the front of ALL city buses (usually enough for 2-3 bikes). This is such a great feature in Portland and has encouraged me to take bike trips that I otherwise wouldn’t have.
    Bikes rule: they’re great for all ages, they’re cheap, they promote health and community and add to the local economy, bikes are green as can be, the list goes on, Ohio needs more bikes!

    Thank you,

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