💐 Thanks for making our Spring Strategy Session a success! 🥑

💐 Thanks for making our Spring Strategy Session a success! 🥑

For our first strategy session—actually for any event—this was a fantastic exercise and demonstration of what a bunch of strangers can do with 90 minutes at the public library. This was an opportunity to explain the founding, activities, and mission of N4MN Columbus while getting real-time feedback from supporters. Here we’ll share some of the key takeaways from our time together.

You told us to focus on positive messaging, like how N4MN wants to give people more housing options throughout Central Ohio. Normalizing development—as well as density—was another focus. A city that’s not changing isn’t a dynamic place to be. We know change is happening, so let’s work to create a policy ecosystem that makes it the best we possibly can.

In general, you told us to pay more attention to:

  • Mixed-use zoning
  • Developer size, capital, and political power—consider policy reforms that would privilege and incentivize small developers
  • Climate change and environmental benefits of compact, walkable communities
  • Aging in place, adding housing options for all life stages in every neighborhood and municipality
  • Linking jobs to housing (e.g. Intel in New Albany)

We also talked about challenges, like how in a world with so many pressing needs that require immediate attention, a topic like zoning reform can come off as superfluous. This means our strategy is unlikely to leverage a sense of urgency. However, the opportunity to modernize the zoning code—as is happening in Columbus—is likely a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence!

As far as content you’d like to see from us, we heard that explanatory pieces for local government development processes would be helpful, along with more in-depth discussions of zoning policies and advisory bodies like area commissions. Additionally, more technical discussions of density—and what different levels of density look like at the neighborhood scale—would be helpful for imagining what our communities could look like in the future. What kind of density is best? What do different kinds of density look like?

Thanks to an engaged and enthusiastic group of attendees, we have a clear vision for the next steps and focus areas of N4MN Columbus. Thank you to everyone who attended and we’re looking forward to building a community of pro-housing supporters to advocate for meaningful zoning reform throughout Central Ohio!