M+A Architects Attends "ULI Columbus 2050" Kick-Off Event
A number of us here at M+A Architects attended the ULI Columbus 2050 Kick-Off Event last night at the Athletic Club downtown. We were presented with a lot of data used as indicators of what the next 40 years might hold for our community and for the world. Right away I was surprised at the predictions for growth. Currently the world is more than 50% urbanized and as a species we’ll be more than 75% urbanized by 2050 according to the information presented. In terms of population growth the prediction is that about 2 billion additional people will be added to the existing 6.89 billion population count totaling almost 9 billion by 2050. What does central Ohio need to consider based on this information? The answer in part was infrastructure, smart growth, transportation, variety of housing stock, retaining the talent pool, and overall being poised to remain competitive not just with Cincinnati but with Shanghai. The panelists at the event discussed a couple keys to success. One point was to band Columbus communities together in order to obtain critical mass heading in a unified direction, instead of remaining fragmented and competitive. Also of note is that while our current market is overstocked with housing in general the variety of that housing is extremely limited. Future demands will require more choice amongst housing types and housing locations within walkable communities.
The message was clear that planning 40 years into the future, also called two development cycles, is a process. So far it feels somewhat overwhelming but extremely exciting! I look forward to appreciating the results of this forethought when I am 74.