Columbus, OH
Bicentennial Vision and 200Columbus Implementation Management

How do you leverage a milestone anniversary and a ranking as the nation’s 15th largest city? If you’re Columbus, Ohio, under the leadership of Mayor Michael B. Coleman, you definitely don’t. Instead, you envision something even bigger and better: a transformational vision project that changed so much for this 225-square-mile city and its neighborhoods.
The year 2012 marked the 200th anniversary for Ohio’s capital and home for The Ohio State University and businesses such as Limited Inc. and Nationwide Insurance. In leveraging this time, the City launched an ambitious process to envision the it’s future, including establishment of goals and specific priority projects and programs. The planning NEXT team was selected to facilitate the vision project that challenged the 700,000+ residents to think big and think creatively about the future of the city. The initiative aimed to reach consensus on projects that can be built or initiated by 2012 (based on 13 topical areas) and develop a list of neighborhood-based capital improvements.

Extensive public involvement

Extensive public involvement, including a Youth Meeting, College Symposium, Focus Groups, Citizen Summit and Neighborhood Meetings added to over 11,000 “Think Tank” ideas. The Summit, which utilized keypad response technology, brought a broad cross-section of the public together to think big and think creatively about the city’s future. Over 1,700 participants registered for the Citizen Summit in advance and 250 people registered on-site the night of the event, marking the largest community meeting ever to take place in the City of Columbus.


Priorities of Dream it. Do It. were documented in the city’s Blueprint for the Bicentennial and ultimately supported with a billion dollar bond package and significant private investment. In the short two-and-a-half years after the Blueprint was prepared, many of the community recommendations developed through the vision, including a new hotel across from the convention center, the redevelopment of the City Center Mall into Columbus Commons Park, the Art Museum renovation, and completion of the “Scioto Mile” on the riverfront.
The planning NEXT team supported implementation of the vision as the program manager for 200Columbus.

Last night’s Citizen Summit was amazing... to keep 2,000 people actively engaged and productive for two-and-a-half hours is a remarkable feat. The program was interesting and substantive, the conversations were enthusiastic, and the (keypad response) technology was waaaaay cool… I didn’t want to let another minute go by without saying thank you for your hard work and expertise.

ParticipantColumbus 2012 Visioning Summit

Related Projects


Project Type: Citywide Vision
Community Type: large city
Client: City of Columbus
Services: visioning, facilitation, public involvement