Columbus Commons and Scioto Mile—2014 Urban Open Space Finalist
April 30, 2014
About Columbus Commons and Scioto Mile
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Owner: Scioto Mile: City of Columbus; Columbus Commons: Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation
Designer: Scioto Mile: MKSK (formerly MSI); Columbus Commons: EDGE and Moody Nolan
Size: Scioto Mile: 11 acres; Columbus Commons: 7 acres
In 2002, the city of Columbus identified the need to attract and retain residents and businesses downtown. The city tapped CDDC and Capitol South to help achieve this goal. After careful consideration, plans were made to develop two new parks—Columbus Commons, in place of a desolate mall, and Scioto Mile, which involved narrowing a thoroughfare along the Scioto River and renovated an existing park. They opened in 2011 and together have catalyzed over $200 million in private investment, attracted 1.5 million visitors annually, and are often credited with spurring downtown Columbus’s rebirth. At seven acres, Columbus Commons features formal gardens, a carousel, native trees, two cafés with copious seating, and a state-of-the-art performing arts pavilion. The 11-acre Scioto Mile features a multi-use trail, swings, benches, fountains, and seating pavilions along a promenade that leads to the showpiece of the park—a 15,000-square-foot interactive water feature adjacent to a café and stage.