tiger yang wrote:
And that’s exactly my point. You can’t synthetically create culture, especially in a town like Columbus, where the pleasantries of parking, safety, and wash-and-wear consumerism trumps urban culture any day of the week for most people. The novelty of ‘urban living’ isn’t enough to recreate a downtown, and it certainly isn't enough to expect 1.5 million Central Ohioans to change their suburban migratory habits. This is precicely, in my opinion, why great ideas such as the COTA light rail won’t fly in Columbus. Sadly, we like our SUV's way too much to even think about saving money on transportation, or god forbid, the woes of traveling in public with all those 'undesirables.'
I think the biggest reason our down town isn't "inhabitable" is lack of comfortable, open "living spaces." There's not enough effort to create and utilize "natural" living (or at least hanging out) areas. I know there are a few little cute-sie "park" areas, but there need to be places where people want to spend time, hang out. Then shops and eating places can gather around those spots and people will spend time there and want to live there. It looks like there's some effort towards that in the Arena District, but that's still not in the "heart" of downtown.
You can't just put a bunch of stores in a big building and expect people to want to hang out down town. Likewise with housing.