MORPC Matters: New year brings several planning priorities for central Ohio
By William Murdock
Published in This Week Community News
With each new year, the prospect of change and possibility sparks renewed energy and optimism in us all.
This year, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is especially excited about all that 2022 has to offer.
Central Ohio continues to grow and is on track to being a region of 3 million residents by 2050.
To support this growth, our team is working to help our region prepare with planning and investment today. We know as central Ohio grows, it can become an even better place to live, work and get around.
Alongside our 75 member communities and partners, MORPC is tackling some of the most pressing issues that affect our communities every day, including housing, sustainability and transportation.
In 2022, these priorities are on top of mind for our team:
Driving investments in infrastructure
MORPC stands ready to be a resource to communities as we work to bring the expected billions of dollars in investment from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act back to central Ohio. We created an Invest2050 team to assist communities across our region in competing for these critical funds. This includes a new online resource and grants and investments officer focused on securing needed investments to drive economic prosperity and solve regional challenges.
Addressing the regional housing challenge
With the Regional Housing Strategy as a guide, MORPC works closely with communities across the region to improve policies and programs to support housing needs in our growing region. This year will include new technical and program assistance on everything from development processes to housing-repair programs.
Repairing and weatherizing homes
Weatherization and home repairs help stabilize housing, reduce its costs and improve sustainability. This year, we look to build on MORPC’s residential services by introducing a lead abatement program, made possible by a grant from the Ohio Department of Health.
Moving mobility forward with LinkUS
LinkUS is central Ohio’s mobility and growth initiative, and it’s in full swing in 2022, moving from planning to implementation. The next phase of LinkUS will be released in early spring and provide the template for investments to move forward with projects improving transit, housing, development and more.
Growing trails and greenways
Central Ohio Greenways and its partners are laying the groundwork for future Trail Town certification. We also will continue to strengthen regional partnerships and support local park and transportation efforts. The RAPID 5 initiative, a partnership among ULI Columbus, MORPC and many others, will develop and implement a vision for the nation’s largest integrated open-space network right here in central Ohio.
Planning for regional sustainability
We look forward to a renewed focus on supporting local sustainability initiatives across the region through MORPC’s Sustainable2050 program. We will help more communities to earn a national SolSmart designation and be advancing our neighborhood-level air-quality monitoring work.
Finally, we know our region’s success depends on continued collaboration and leadership to create an environment for prosperity.
MORPC is ready work together with you and your communities. To learn more about us, go to morpc.org.
William Murdock is executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. MORPC’s purpose is to bring communities of all sizes and interests together to collaborate on best practices and plan for the future of the region.