The urban design framework diagram is a method of translating the Bridge Street District Vision Principles into a general guide to development policy in the District. The framework addresses where natural green spaces and natural features should be emphasized as focal points; where mixed-use development offers the greatest feasibility and benefit; and where development and open space should engage one another. The framework begins to suggest the character of development appropriate to different areas with distinct characteristics of visibility, access, and adjacency to existing neighborhoods. The framework includes descriptions of walkable focus areas, address corridors, the green network, and transitions to adjacent development.
Walkable Focus Areas
Achieving the highest value premium possible with pedestrian-oriented mixed-use development depends on creating places that are truly walkable. Walkable places are compact and provide seamless pedestrian connections and complementary land uses so that most daily trips can be made on foot or bike, rather than requiring a car. The effective size of these areas should not exceed a walking radius of about 10 minutes, or a quarter of a mile, which translates into a concentrated area of about 100 to 150 acres.
Four areas within the study area are the most appropriate targets for walkable development and infrastructure, based on their current road access, visibility and unique amenities (including natural areas and Historic Dublin’s existing development). Running from west to east:
The Indian Run/Bridge Street/Frantz Road area.Excellent visibility and access coupled with property-owner interest in high-value redevelopment on a significant amount of land make this a prime opportunity for walkable mixed-use development strengthened by connections to Historic Dublin and the outstanding natural areas around the Indian Run.
Historic Dublin.The emergence of Historic Dublin as a walkable center has been a key driver and inspiration behind the Vision for the Bridge Street District. Strategic infill development and pedestrian and parking improvements can bring a new level of success to the existing center, while the longer-term possibility of redevelopment on the adjacent school sites opens the door to substantial new development that complements and reinforces Historic Dublin’s qualities.
The Riverside area.Untapped potential to experience the Scioto River—through views, a riverbank park and recreational path, and improved pedestrian/recreational connections across the river—contribute to this area’s potential for river-oriented development and public spaces. Proximity to Historic Dublin, good local road access (via Bridge Street, West Dublin-Granville Road, Riverside Drive and Emerald Parkway), relatively large land parcels, and property-owner interest in higher value development combine to make this another prime opportunity for a new walkable focus area.
The Sawmill area.Like the Indian Run/Bridge Street/Frantz Road area, this area has high potential as a future district of walkable development, owing to excellent regional access via I-270, visibility from Sawmill Road, and owner interest in redeveloping large areas. While its greatest potential lies closest to the I-270 interchange, it could also extend down to and across West Dublin-Granville Road.
Character Emphasis Types
Within each focus area, three types of character emphasis are identified.
“Experiencing nature”Emphasizes the value of visual access and sensitive physical access to outstanding natural features, and relates directly to vision principle 3 in its focus on these special natural assets. This characteristic also builds on vision principles 2, 4 and 5, since natural areas can play critical roles in providing community gathering spaces, choices for recreation and pedestrian/bicycle transportation, and establishing special places with unique identities.
“Engaging mixed-use activity”Covers areas that hold the greatest opportunity for continuous walkable development environments. This character emphasis directly relates to vision principles 1, 2, 4 and 5—walkable mixed-use development supports economic vitality, creates a sense of community around shared destinations, expands choices for transportation, housing and business, and reinforces sense of place.
“Integrating Bridge Street”Addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of fostering walkability along major street corridors. Because these highly visible and highly trafficked corridors are critically important to attracting commercial market opportunities, this character emphasis responds to vision principle 1 in particular. It also responds to vision principle 5, emphasizing the need for and the challenge of transforming auto-oriented road corridors into walkable streets designed for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as cars.
While the walkable focus areas have been identified here as priority areas based on specific present-day characteristics, new development is also appropriate outside of the identified walkable focus areas, and under the right circumstances, may contribute to the creation of new focus areas. A relative lack of convenient vehicular access or existing amenities compared with the walkable focus areas may, however, make such development less likely to contribute to or benefit from a walkable concentration of mixed-use development in the near term. Once a walkable center is established, adjacent areas will emerge as important opportunities for contiguous walkable development that may become more relaxed residential neighborhoods or office environments within walking distance of exciting activity centers.
Visibility is critical for high-value commercial development. High-visibility gateways also make a statement, intentional or not, about the character of the community as a whole. Distinct approaches to development at the scales of highway, regional and local visibility will maximize opportunities to create new private and community value in each address corridor. Like the “Integrating Bridge Street” character emphasis areas within each walkable focus area, address corridors respond directly to vision principles 1 and 5.
Treasured natural settings and an impressive greenway network are already Dublin signatures. This green network should extend throughout the study area to foster development and community value at a local scale within the Bridge Street Corridor. The size and function of spaces should reflect a deliberate hierarchy within the green network, with some parks and greenways serving all of Dublin, some serving a particular neighborhood, and others serving a smaller district or block. Natural areas have a unique and fragile character that must be protected even as they receive greater visibility and access. Connective greenways support a citywide network of recreational pathways linking districts and neighborhoods. Parks and plazas at different scales serve as citywide destinations and local amenities for surrounding development. Like the “Experiencing Nature” character emphasis areas where the green network overlaps walkable focus areas, the entire green network responds directly to vision principle 3 and indirectly to the other vision principles by promoting community, choices, and unique qualities of place.
Existing residential neighborhoods should receive the benefits of convenient access to amenities in nearby mixed-use districts. Transition areas should facilitate these connections by providing sensitively designed pedestrian and bicycle paths and development whose scale respects existing development. Transitional areas correspond to vision principles 2, 4 and 5—respectful connections promote a stronger sense of community, expand choices for adjacent neighborhoods, and accommodate a shift in character between existing and newer development areas.