A group of community heavy hitters gathered this week at the Iron Works to talk about the riverfront – specifically, what can be done to draw more people not just downtown, but down to the river.
Uptown Columbus Inc. has contracted with an urban planning consultant called EDSA to jump-start the effort, in part so it can coincide with the whitewater project.
The 60 or so people who attended the meeting were broken up into groups for brainstorming sessions. Among the ideas they came up with were:
* Sell food and beverages on the Riverwalk.
* Create more activity on the Riverwalk.
* Encourage more residential density in the area.
* Make the area “walkable.”
* Attract people to the riverfront.
* Market the area to the local community and beyond.
* Create “nodes of activity.” These could be places to watch the whitewater activity, places to get a soft drink or a beer or a burger.
* Make the riverfront a destination.
* Make sure the area is safe.
* Create more family activities.
* Provide shade.
* Whatever is done must bring people back to the area more than once.
* The outdoor market works, but area needs more things like that.
* Don’t draw too much business away from existing Broadway merchants.
* The historical façade and sign issues are “just killing people.” Businesses can’t do the kinds of things they need to do to advertise without being ticketed by the city.
* Create a gateway. Put up signs drawing people to the area.
* Maintain greenspace.
* Bring back a riverboat.
What would you like to see down by the river?