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Smart Growth

Greening America's Capitals - Columbus, OH

Cover of Greening America's Capitals, Columbus, OH, reportThe city of Columbus, Ohio, requested assistance from EPA's Greening America's Capitals Program to create several design options for the western portion of the Milo-Grogan neighborhood, a vibrant, low-income neighborhood a mile north of downtown. The city wants to make near-term improvements in the neighborhood; leverage investments that will be coming with redevelopment of a former brownfield; and expand economic development opportunities.

The city wanted to hear from residents about what investments would be helpful and where they should be located to best improve residents' lives. The city also wanted to explore green infrastructure—using plants and trees to manage and treat stormwater—as a way to reduce localized flooding and improve the neighborhood’s appearance.

EPA brought together a team of federal agency staff and consultants to help the city create a plan for the Milo-Grogan area. This report includes input the team garnered from stakeholders and residents in developing design options for the neighborhood, as well as an analysis of the area's existing conditions. The team held a three-day workshop that included meetings with community members, area commission representatives, city departments, and professionals. Participants helped the team develop the design options presented in this report.

The design options offer an array of green infrastructure approaches to sustainable stormwater management, including bioretention cells, porous pavement, street trees, and vegetated curb bulb-outs. Additional design strategies include streetscape improvements, lighting, and public art. All of the options incorporate complete streets design principles that address all modes of transportation safely and effectively. The report also offers steps the city and state could consider when planning and implementing design changes.

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