MidTown Blog

It’s a Knight Cities Challenge winner, but what is a Minimum Grid?

Minimum Grid: Maximum Impact

One of 32 national winners of the first Knight Cities Challenge
A proposal submitted by MidTown, Inc.

What is a Minimum Grid?

It’s a plan that will provide everyone—pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and drivers—with equally convenient, comfortable, safe and inviting options for moving about within Columbus’s Core Community of MidTown and Uptown.

A 21st-century overlay that invites walkers and cyclists to move comfortably within an existing, historic transportation network that presently prioritizes cars.

A minimum level of connection—a multi-modal transportation network within the Core Community—that should be accessible and inviting to all residents and visitors, whether they travel on foot, bicycle, bus, or in a car.

The development of a Minimum Grid plan will discover where people are gathering, and how they want to get to there.

A plan that will be a catalyst for economic development, expanding the Core Community’s potential as a place that attracts and retains talent, and respects its diverse population.

An opportunity to invest for Maximum Impact. The Minimum Grid will define a long-range plan that can be implemented over time, utilizing existing infrastructure and resources, and directing future investment most efficiently.

Minimum Grid is not a technical term. The Columbus delegation at the June, 2014 Doable City Forum in Chicago, first heard the phrase in a talk by Gil Penalosa, the Director of 8-80 Cities. It immediately resonated for our city. Uptown and MidTown grew on historic grid patterns. Downtown Columbus was planned from its founding in 1828 on a traditional street grid with north-south avenues and east-west streets, anchored on the west by the Chattahoochee River. MidTown’s modified grid of interconnected streets reflects the development of neighborhoods over time, established with respect to a landscape of creeks and rolling hills. MidTown and Uptown share historic street grids, diverse and dense population, convenience, local character and sites of community pride. What they presently lack are worthy and complete connections that link people and places within the Core.

A Minimum Grid will make the journey more pleasant and interesting: getting to and from places in the heart of Columbus should be as attractive as the destination.

A fully-realized Minimum Grid will better serve and connect a diverse Core Community, and will help grow a healthier, more attractive and economically vibrant Columbus.

One response to “It’s a Knight Cities Challenge winner, but what is a Minimum Grid?”

  1. Jennifer Boyd says:

    Cherokee avenue is a pain point in connecting uptown and midtown for walkers and cyclists. Is a solution for this disconnect being considered as part of the plan? Congrats on getting the grant!!! This is great for our city!


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