Ohio suburb readies itself for a changing world

Author:  Philip Langdon
New Urban News

Dublin, prosperous but worried, looks toward denser, more walkable development to thrive in the knowledge economy.

In the past four decades, Dublin, Ohio, about a dozen miles northwest of downtown Columbus, has grown from a rural settlement of 681 souls into an affluent suburb where organizations like the Wendy’s restaurant chain, the global Cardinal Health, and the worldwide OCLC online library network are headquartered.

Now the well-off municipality of 41,000 inhabitants and more than 3,000 businesses is feeling pressure to adapt to new and very different demands. “We need to appeal to the mobile part of talent,” says Dublin City Manager Terry Foegler. “The forces that have driven Dublin’s development for the last 40 years don’t exist any more.”

Laid out for the automobile, its growth stimulated by the Interstate 270 expressway that encircles Columbus, Dublin now realizes that part of its future will depend on people who are not wild about driving.

A growing portion of America’s talent pool is opting for communities where it’s convenient to walk or bicycle to many daily destinations and where there are lively places to gather, observes Carol Coletta, president of CEOs for Cities. Coletta is one of the many idea people — generally urban-minded —

Posted by Robert Steuteville on 10 Sep 2010