Columbia could get help from urban planner for downtown revitali - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia could get help from urban planner for downtown revitalization effort

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The City of Columbia has been working to revitalize its downtown area to draw more people in, but that effort could get some help soon.

On Tuesday, members of City Council heard from an Ewa Westermark, an urban planner based in Copenhagen, Sweden.

Westermark, who works for the Gehl Institute finding ways to create public spaces to improve civic engagement, says she sees a lot of potential in Columbia.

“The impression was that there are a lot of hidden assets in the city that are just waiting, sitting there to be discovered or connected or integrated and utilized by people,” Westermark said. “There's so much in the city that is already there. But it's just a matter of using them and leveraging them on top of each other. Making them more accessible to people.”

Westermark and the Gehl Institute are working with the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the Knight Foundation.

They plan to revisit Columbia in October with observations and suggestions.

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