Why creating a “sense of place” matters
Why does this issue matter so much?
- A “sense of place” is profoundly important to community. Worthington doesn’t need to look like Bridge Park. It doesn’t need to look like the Short North, or Bexley, or Grandview.
- There is just this one place where we can develop something that is currently missing in Worthington (whose absence puts Worthington at a competitive disadvantage to neighboring communities) — a central park, a large outdoor community gathering place, fostering both social and economic vitality.
- There are 25,000 incorporated communities in America and they’re all trying to attract and retain residents and businesses. They’re trying to figure out how to grow their community without destroying the things people love about the place where they live.
- The more a community can do to make itself distinctly unique from the places around it, the more people want to visit, work and live there.
- If Worthington builds a Bridge Park on its largest remaining land asset, we will not be unique.
This isn’t just about a “park” – this is an economic investment in our future
- Class A office with scenic views or adjacent green-space commands a higher price than office space that faces apartment or condos.
- Residential homes with nearby parks and nature are worth more than homes without nearby parks.
Taking bold action to preserve greenspace requires courage. And it is rewarded.
- Some examples of why preserving unique places places is important to economic vitality:
- The French Quarter drives Louisiana’s $1B tourism industry. The state once wanted to put a highway through it.
- The San Antonio riverwalk is the most visited place in Texas. The city almost put the river underground in a culvert.
- The Pike Place Market in Seattle is the most visited destination in Washington. 20 years ago City Council proposed tearing it down for more parking garages.
- The HighLine park in Manhattan is the most popular attraction aside from the Statue of Liberty. It was built on old train tracks that most wanted to tear down.
Having vision requires courage. Accepting a developer’s near-term for-profit desires does not.