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Co-creating a Welcoming, Connected and Prosperous Eastland Community

In Spring 2023, the City of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods announced an RFP for a new comprehensive planning effort in the Eastland community, selecting the consultant team, led by planning and urban design firm MKSK. As part of the team, NDC is working alongside Cohear and Development Strategies to listen and co-design a plan with neighborhood residents and stakeholders through a robust 16-month process. The process kicked off in August 2023 and is anticipated to be completed in December 2024.

Consistent and Sustained Engagement

Simple, Convenient, and in Various Methods

In addition to planning support, the NDC provides consistent and sustained engagement and outreach, ensuring that the team is meeting people where they already work, shop, worship, or play. The planning process utilizes various engagement techniques, including public meetings, physical and online surveys, community office hours, pop-ups, focus groups, and workshops. The team is working diligently to ensure the plan is shaped by the community, its history, and its current and future conditions.

Community engagement is the foundation of this plan. Our outreach approach has made a concerted effort to reach a diverse group of residents and continue to bring new voices to the table. We have distributed over 50K postcards via EDDM to almost every household in the planning area and immediate surroundings, which have proven to be the primary driver of public meeting attendance. We tapped into the local community network to distribute 7,500+ flyers at schools, libraries, recreation centers, mosques, and community organizations. Considering the large New American population in the Eastland area and ensuring an inclusive process, planning materials have been translated into six languages: Spanish, French, Arabic, Nepali, Somali, and Haitian Creole.

Approximately 300+ neighbors attended the kick-off and visioning public meetings combined. Following each public meeting, the NDC set up week-long office hours at high-pedestrian traffic locations in Eastland—Barnett Community Center, Saraga International Market, Far East Community Center, and the Jerry L. Garver YMCA—leading to 250+ new interactions. Our team also interacted with 95 focus group participants and attended 7 pop-up events, including a Turkey Drive, Toy Drive, Healthy Kids Day, and RiseUp, making residents familiar with the plan. These events disseminated plan information and contributed to collecting 700+ survey responses. The plan listserv audience grew from approximately 350 subscribers to over 1,000 since the beginning of this process.

This Spring, the Welcoming, Connected, and Prosperous Eastland Workshop Series presented residents and stakeholders with the opportunity to dig deeper into the feedback we've received so far and co-create solutions impacting housing, community services, beautification, employment, education, retail, parks, and more. These topical small meeting formats hosted about 60 participants in breakout tables facilitated by the planning team and representatives from various City of Columbus departments.

We invite you to learn more about the plan by visiting


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