A new vision for downtown Columbia

Columbia’s new Downtown Strategic Plan, inviting community input to shape future urban design, policy, and public space guidelines over ten months.

Downtown Columbia

A northern view of downtown Columbia. | Image via @sodacityaerials

The City of Columbia recently unveiled its new Downtown Columbia Strategic Plan and Design Guidelines master plan and is offering Soda Citizens a chance to share their voices for the city’s future.

The plan hopes to shape the future urban landscape, keeping community values and aspirations in mind. It’s been 25 years since the last City Center Master Plan and over a decade since its sister plan, the Innovista Master Plan, was developed.

Here’s a look at what the plan will cover and how you can help shape it.

What the plan entails

The strategic plan targets a range of objectives, including fostering a community-driven vision. The focus will be:

  • Preserving the city’s historic identity
  • Prioritizing public policies and investments
  • Establishing design guidelines for vibrant public spaces

The map shows the area that the new plan will cover. | Graphic by City of Columbia

The area encompasses Elmwood Avenue to Catawba Street and Pickens Street to the Congaree River, covering key Cola districts.

Get involved

Community members are encouraged to engage through surveys, stakeholder roundtables, mobile workshops, and community meetings scheduled throughout 2024.

With a projected timeline of ten months, milestones included formulating draft guidelines and plans, culminating in a finalized Downtown Plan and Design Guidelines by November. Lucinda Statler, AICP, will lead as the Project Manager.

Future development

The plan comes at a time when the downtown area is on the cusp of several new developments.

Share your voice by taking this survey and signing up for the dedicated mailing list for this project.