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Columbus City Council to vote on a plan that aims to add 40,000 new downtown residents

Downtown Columbus, buildings and water.
Ryan Hitchcock

Columbus City Council is expected to consider the latest strategic plan for downtown at its Monday night meeting. Among the goals of the strategic plan is to nearly quadruple the downtown population.

The Downtown Development Corporation wants 40,000 people living downtown by 2040. That's nearly four times the number of 11,200 people living there now. They also want to make downtown more diverse and more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

Closing the affordable housing gap is a key step, said Carlie Boos of the Affordable Housing Alliance. The first step to doing that is passing November's bond package that seeks to expand affordable housing access, she said.

By "working together to cut down the red tape and raise the resources needed to succeed, we can make this vision a reality for the entire region," Boos said.

The city would convert outdated office space into housing, create a "15-minute" downtown to decrease the reliance on vehicles for everyday needs and create programs to address housing for people experiencing homelessness.

The Downtown Development Corporation's board is chaired by former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, who made downtown development a key part of his tenure. In 2002 he set the goal of 10,000 people living downtown by 2020.

The strategic plans also seeks to attract 120,000 new downtown workers.