Last month, we added a new page to our website that is a repository of good ideas and programs happening around Ohio. This month we have added the City of Newark’s Downtown Revitalization project to the list. This project is an excellent example of leveraging an otherwise traditional infrastructure project into a transformative placemaking opportunity and economic generator for the city by creatively designing the project to be eligible for multiple funding sources.
The project began, in 2014, as a $30 million sewer renovation project that would demolish ten street blocks around the town square. City leadership determined this was an opportune time to also address issues with the downtown’s transportation network, which had been a point of concern for over ten years. As a result, the city undertook a planning and visioning process to re-think the entire downtown environment. Bringing together multi-disciplined experts, the project team collaborated with the public to create a broadly supported and impactful plan for improving downtown.
The final design, accompanied by water and sewer line replacements, included the conversion of four intersections to mini-urban roundabouts at the corners of the town square. It also incorporated substantial stormwater management features—giving the city the ability to apply for green infrastructure funds—and other transportation, urban aesthetic, and economic development enhancements.
To learn more about how Newark creatively leveraged public investment to fund this project and about other good ideas happening in Ohio, visit: https://www.greaterohio.org/good-ideas-initiative