By Sara Belsole
COLUMBUS, GA - What if I told you in ten years, Uptown Columbus could look totally different?
EDSA, a Florida-based planning and landscape architecture company, has spent the last 18 months collaborating with Columbus stakeholders and citizens to create a strategic master plan for the future Uptown Columbus.
"We are trying in part to honor some of the history that's here, some of the preservation of historic structures then look to how do we enhance that, make it more accessible in terms of public use," Douglas Smith, President of EDSA, says.
The plan focuses on energizing the Riverfront to complement a finished Whitewater project and a more interactive and pedestrian-friendly Uptown area over the next ten years or so.
"We are looking on how to harmonize with what's been done and how to make some spaces that are currently not in the best use, how to bring those up to another level," Smith says.
EDSA's plan includes renovating Woodruff Plaza so it has a deck overlooking the river and an interactive water park for kids. And building a children's museum and garden and a contemporary arts and cultural center on 12th Street.
All things, Uptown landowner Ken Henson, Jr. says he would like to see on his land.
"It's just great to have a plan, it's great to have a vision, it's great to have a starting point and I am excited about the great ideas we heard today," Henson says.
And of course the next question is how are these projects going to be funded? The planners think the best option is a combination of public and private partnership which means private donations as well as things like government issued bonds.
Even though there is no official price tag on the project yet, stakeholders feel it is promising.
"If you come back in ten years, I think you will see some of these projects," Henson says.
The next step is to complete a "blueprint of the future" and finalize which projects Uptown would like to see.
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