The Upperclassmen: Blog 5

  1. The University District addresses the future of urban design, capital improvements, and land use in the city of Columbus. The University District is utilized to guide neighborhood and city review of development proposals and inform future investments in the region. It also provides land use recommendations for the planning area that establishes the framework for zoning. Land use defines how property and/or a building is utilized. In order for neighborhoods to be sustainable for future generations, it is significant for a variety of land uses to be provided. A primary goal is to focus on the higher intensity development on the Ohio State University campus. In addition, there is a goal to encourage low intensity development in areas away from the campus.

2. A lot of the land that is used is used for residential use where 89 percent is renter occupied. The Ohio State University is placed alongside the olentangy river and the river itself is used as a park or green space. Tuttle park, as well as Echo Glenn park serve as green space for the campus. What is nice, is that there is is a strip of mixed use area going right down the middle of the map. This is nice because it sort of makes a center of entertainment for both the more residential part of the university for the university side, so students can come from class to find entertainment and meals or they can come from the more residential side as well.

3. One of the primary goals is for intense development on the physical campus of OSU. This is absolutely being fulfilled and actively being worked on. Over the past four years, the campus has changed tremendously. North campus as a whole has completely transformed. They have added many new dorms as well as other components such as  the clock tower. On south campus, there has also been an addition of new dorms, but overall the development on south campus has more been focused on the aesthetic aspect. For example, they spent a couple years remodeling mirror lake and redoing the creamery. They also have worked on modernizing some of the older buildings, such as the relatively new student union. While the goal of high-intensity building on campus building is only one of many, this is a clear example of how the university has done a pretty good job at following the plan.

4. The comprehensive plan contains an entire section of land-use issues, most of which is devoted to the issues with high density parking in low density residential neighborhoods. The problem is that many of the neighborhoods were built for families, long before Ohio State became such a densely populated school. Now that students are packed into houses at greater numbers than originally intended, parked cars have clogged the thin streets near student housing. The next section of the plan is dedicated to recommendations for future land-use. One specific recommendation is to decrease the area that a building will take up in a specified lot for developments near High Street. This tactic eases parking overflow for shoppers near High Street, and residents of upper floor apartments in mixed-use buildings. However, this tactic does not ease parking overflow near housing, because there will always be an incentive for a student to park for free near their house, rather than paid parking further away.    

5. There are a couple of suggestions for things that can be added and improved in the University District Plan. One is that there can be more of an initiative to implement small businesses on High Street along the Ohio State campus. As more corporations ranging from fast food to retail stores such as target buy/rent property on High Street, it becomes more difficult for small businesses to buy/rent along this area of property. Second is that the University District Plan can focus on adding a more efficient transit system from the Ohio State campus to downtown. Unless if one has the access to a vehicle, it can be difficult to commute around the campus and the city of Columbus.   

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