What is the Discovery District SID Placemaking Plan?

The purpose of the Discovery District SID Placemaking Plan is to create a vision, goals and action steps for placemaking opportunities in the Discovery District that are achievable within the short, medium, and long-term. The planning process will rely on the ideas of neighborhood residents, workers, students and visitors in order to create a unified vision for the district. The Placemaking Plan will reinforce the district’s identity as a neighborhood of arts, culture and knowledge, and guide public improvements for the next ten years.

The Discovery District SID Placemaking Plan will include:

  • Identifying strategic placemaking locations
  • Aligning the goals and programs of existing planning efforts in the Discovery District
  • Creating a conceptual plan for preferred public and quasi-public spaces
  • Identifying temporary-, short-, mid-, and long-term goals
  • Creating an implementation schedule

The Discovery SID hopes the projects identified in the Discovery District SID Placemaking Plan will:

  • Reinforce the identity of the neighborhood as the Discovery District
  • Help develop a sense of community
  • Create neighborhood focal points
  • Provide visual linkages between existing job centers, attractions and institutions
  • Spur economic development in the neighborhood
  • Attract more residents, workers students and visitors

What is Placemaking?placemaking-grid

The term “placemaking”—made popular by the Project for Public Spaces in the mid 1990s—has become a widely supported philosophy
and process in urban planning and community building. Placemaking is a creative approach to designing cities for people—thinking about how we live and move in spaces, what will excite us and bring us together, and what kinds of programs, projects and plans will address our specific needs as residents and visitors of a place.

Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community.” —Project for Public Spaces


What is the Discovery District?

The Discovery District is a neighborhood in the eastern portion of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The Discovery District is named for its blend of arts organizations, institutions of higher education, historic centers and beautiful residences.

Organizations and attractions that call the Discovery District home include:

  • Columbus State Community College
  • Columbus College of Art and Design
  • Franklin University
  • Capital University Law School
  • Columbus Museum of Art
  • Columbus Metropolitan Library—Main Library
  • Topiary Park
  • Thurber House
  • Cristo Rey Columbus High School
  • Jefferson Center for the Arts
  • Kelton House Museum and Garden
  • Grant Medical Center
  • Jefferson Avenue Historic District
  • East Town Street Historic District

The Discovery District is continually changing and developing—evidenced by the recent addition of the Columbus Museum of Art’s Walter Wing and Sculpture Garden, the renovation of the Main Library and its connection to Topiary Park, and Columbus State’s planning of its Creative Campus.

What is the Discovery SID?

The Discovery Special Improvement District (SID) was created by Discovery District property owners in 2007 in order to provide supplemental safety services in the neighborhood. The SID encompasses most, but not all, of the Discovery District and is funded by the property owners. Visit the Downtown Columbus Website for more information.

The Discovery District Placemaking Plan will focus on the area within the Discovery SID boundary, but will address connections to the surrounding neighborhoods and downtown Columbus.

Link to Crowdsource Story Map: Detailed Instructions