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Robin Davis
Director of Media Relations
614.645.2425
rcdavis@columbus.gov

Melanie Crabill
Communications Manager
614.645.5300
mjcrabill@columbus.gov

Media Advisory
News Date: February 12, 2017

Linden Residents Participate in Smart Columbus Community Dialogue

More than 170 Linden community residents shared their views and ideas on what will make Linden a “smart” community as part of the City of Columbus’ Smart Columbus initiative. The two-day community dialogue and workgroups were held February 10 and 11 at St. Stephen’s Community House, 1500 E. 17th Ave. Discussions centered on multiple elements of the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Smart City Challenge Grant awarded to the City of Columbus in June 2016.  

"Engaging Linden area residents as part of our efforts for the Smart Columbus work is critical to the success of the grant implementation,” said Columbus City Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “The insights we learn from those who live in this community will help inform how we incorporate and deliver technology and drive initiatives on the many different elements of what is planned for the Linden area.”

Friday sessions provided an overview of the Smart Columbus grant and what it will mean for the Linden community. Participants held round table talks discussing Linden area transportation challenges, the impact of those challenges, providing insights about their use of technology and many other issues facing the community as it relates to transportation and technology. Attendees also had a chance to pose questions to a Smart Columbus panel that included Aparna Dial, Deputy Director, City of Columbus Department of Public Service and project lead for Smart Columbus; Michelle Mills, President & CEO, St. Stephen’s Community House; Rev. Kujenga Ashe, Pastor representing Linden-area clergy and Linden resident; and Duane Bland, Principal, Linden-McKinley STEM Academy.

Saturday’s working session gave the participants an opportunity to have more in-depth dialogue about specific Linden-focused projects as part of the Smart Columbus plan and offer opinions and thoughts on what may work for the neighborhood.

Residents learned about Smart Columbus projects such as: 
•             Mobility Assistance
•             Multi-Modal Trip Planning
•             Common Payment Systems
•             Connected Vehicle Environments 
•             Smart Mobility Hubs 
•             Smart Street Lighting

“We have to recreate Linden pride and Linden excitement,” said Dr. Keith A. Troy, Pastor, New Salem Missionary Baptist Church. “I am excited about transformation. So often people plan for us and not with us, so having a chance for people in this community to have their voices heard, their thoughts considered, and give their input to help shape the outcome, goes a long way in people taking ownership.

“You see a good turn-out of clergy representing faith-based institutions here,” he continued. “Our presence is important, and we are invested in Linden. We are happy that the mayor has made this a priority. For us, it has always been a priority. This has been an important first step.”

Information gathered during the two-day Linden community engagement session, as well as community surveys and other feedback, will be used by Smart Columbus officials as guidance and insight to inform design projects that will impact the Linden community.

Other partners supporting the two-day community dialogue included: Assurance, Bath and Body Works, Bread and Better, car2go, Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), Columbus State Community College, Celebrate Linden, CelebrateOne, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Metro PCS, Ohio Department of Transportation, Pepsi, Road to Success Academy, The PIT Barbeque, Uber, and Unique Services Logistics Career Academy.

About Smart Columbus

The City of Columbus Smart Columbus plan won the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into its transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. Local businesses and organizations have also committed about $90 million in matching dollars, including $19 million in public money to support technology and infrastructure investments to upgrade Columbus' transportation network through the Smart Columbus initiative. Smart Columbus includes partnerships with The Ohio State University, Battelle, American Electric Power, Honda, IBM and many more. 

For more information visit the Smart Columbus https://www.columbus.gov/smartcolumbus/.