Places for People (Columbus, OH)


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At the heart of every community, no matter its size, location, or demographics, are people. People give life to places, and when this is celebrated and supported, individuals, communities, and institutions flourish. Places that are for people support individual health and wellness, social engagement and connectedness, activism and economic vitality. The National Walking Summit- Columbus will explore the power, positivity, and progress that come when we create places for people.

As we explore Places for People, we must look at how we design those places, what those places look like, and how people are engaging with or accessing those places. The program will be organized in a series of tracks focused around these areas. They include:

Designing Places for People

What does it look like to have Places for People? At the foundation of creating Places for People is the built environment that provides the physical landscape, access, and support for those places. These sessions will:

  • Showcase examples of built environment and infrastructure that support healthy, active, and engaged places
  • Identify ways to improve safety, access, and accessibility of places through changes to the built environment and use of universal design principles
  • Provide information on ways individuals, organizations, and decision-makers can support design of Places for People in their own work

Planning Places for People

How do we plan places for people? Hear from decision-makers at all levels on planning efforts to support connected, walkable communities across Ohio.

  • Showcase examples of local, regional, and statewide planning efforts
  • Identify effective public engagement strategies for planning initiatives
  • Highlight data, tools, and resources for effective decision-making

Advocating Places for Places

How do we create an urgency around Places for People? Political will and leadership are necessary to institutionalize the support and growth of Places for people. These sessions will:

  • Showcase examples of policies, programs, and political action that have helped to create and support Places for People
  • Identify ways to engage decision-makers and create an urgency around Places for People
  • Provide information on existing policies and the campaigns that helped to create them

A Culture of Places for People

Who are we putting first in the decisions and planning of our communities? A culture change of putting people first and prioritizing Places for People is necessary for us to truly see change around these topics. This culture will celebrate the history and legacy of the existing communities. These sessions will:

  • Showcase examples of campaigns and programs that put people first in communities
  • Identify ways to use messaging, programs, and other elements to move the needle on progressing away from a car-centric culture
  • Provide information on the existing state of active transportation across the US and how Columbus can lead by example

Accessible and Inviting Places for People

What makes a place welcoming and accessible? Answers to this question will be unique to each, but there is a need for communities to be addressing the physical, social, and environmental barriers to places in order to create Places for People. These sessions will:

  • Showcase examples of ways places are improving accessibility and inclusion for all community members
  • Identify ways that the physical environment, social atmosphere, and other elements create seen and unseen barriers to community members and how connective networks support accessing places
  • Provide information on interventions and partnerships that can be done now to help create Places for People that engage participation of all community members

Resilient Places for People

What’s the future of our communities? There’s no crystal ball, but we are seeing exciting things. Making sure that communities are prepared to face both the opportunities and challenges of the future is critical to creating Places for People. These sessions will:

  • Showcase innovative and creative ways that communities use to create Places for People
  • Identify ways that new technology, resources, and programs can be utilized to support Places for People
  • Provide information on frameworks, policies, and communications can assist communities in embracing opportunities and facing challenges of the future