Updated: Jan 29, 2021
COTA riders on the #6 route will notice a new addition to Stop #2734 on Sullivant Avenue. The bus stop got a recent makeover through a partnership among NDC, Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), City of Columbus, and the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University.
The project is the first installation from the Knowlton School of Architecture Fall 2020 COTA Parklet Seminar! Thank you to COTA for supporting the project and helping us get the project installed (especially with the cold and snowy day). Make sure to check it out next time you’re riding the #6!
Design driven by students
This fall NDC hosted the COTA Parklet seminar led by Kerry Reeds, Director of Urban Design and Planning. Over the course of the semester, students developed design and implementation strategies for three COTA bus stops around Columbus:
Stop #4167 — E. Spring/Mt. Vernon, near Columbus State Community College
Stop #2248 — S. 4th St./Innis
Stop #2734 — W. Sullivant/Hilltonia
The primary objective of the project was to design three distinct parklets that enhance the experience of transit users. However, as the projects would be constructed, students also needed to consider durability of materials selected and capacity to be disassembled, then reassembled at other transit stops in the future.
Also known as DIY Urbanism, tactical urbanism is a technique that allows citizens to directly impact the built environment through small, short-term, and sometimes temporary interventions.
This approach can be led or sanctioned by cities, but typically involves neighborhood groups using short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions to experiment with concepts that could be applied long-term if effective.
By using low-cost materials to experiment with changes to the streetscape, green space, or other public areas, tactical urbanism projects can help collect community input on potential design changes and empower residents to make change in their own neighborhoods.
While stop #2734 is the first installed project, we look forward to seeing the other parklets installed in Spring 2021!
Students were able to develop concepts with varied amenities — seating, planters, ramps — and materials, and present to representatives from the city’s Department of Public Service and COTA for feedback before finalizing their designs. While the seminar provided an opportunity for students to explore tactical urbanism, the project is perhaps more fulfilling as it provided an opportunity for students design work to translate from paper to reality.