On Tuesday evening Greater Ohio attended the monthly Columbus chapter meeting of the American Institute of Architects. We spoke to over sixty architects—including private and public sector architects, landscape designers, and planners—about the Restoring Prosperity Initiative and how lessons learned from Europe can help Ohio and its metros compete in the next economy. We shared with the AIA some grim statistics, including declining population numbers in our urban cores, large numbers of vacant and abandoned properties throughout the state, and numerous layers of local government. But we concluded our presentation with firm evidence that Ohio can compete in the next economy. Ohio has incredible assets, such as “eds and meds” anchor institutions, and has policies, like Land Bank legislation which assists local communities in controlling and repurposing vacant and abandoned property. Ann Pendleton-Jullian of Ohio State University’s Knowlton School of Architecture followed Greater Ohio’s presentation and discussed—using studio projects from graduate seminars—the strengths inherent to Ohio’s physical and cultural landscape. Pendleton-Jullian suggested Ohio’s location “in the middle” of the country and in the middle of the Midwest ideally positions Ohio to be central in next economy, which she sees as creative and innovative. Pendleton-Jullian also pointed to Ohio’s incredible number of colleges and universities and the roles they will play in educating for the creative economy. In further developing the mission of the state’s land-grant institutions as serving the state, Ohio is well positioned to develop an “educational ecosystem” which would greatly complement many of the policies for which Greater Ohio is advocating.
Greater Ohio looks forward to public forums like these because it gives us an opportunity to educate Ohioans about our mission and receive feedback on our research and policy recommendations. We especially enjoy speaking events where dialogues develop between our work and other exciting programs which are also striving to grow Ohio’s economy and improve Ohioans’ quality of life. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like us to come speak to your organization.