Rapid 5 Project: From “What if?” to “Why not now?”
The video begins provocatively with a set of “What if?” questions: “What if in central Ohio you could kayak to work? Hike to meet friends at your favorite brewery?… What if children in urban school districts had access to natural resources that are in their backyard but they can’t get to today—put their hand in the stream, walk the paths, identify trees?… What if we were the healthiest city in America?” Yes, What if? (youtube.com/watch?v=MIIHTUggzw0)
The Rapid 5 Project is a new initiative to connect all of our major parks and waterways in central Ohio. The project asks not only the “What if?” question, but moves us toward action by asking “Why not now?” The initiative, still in its infancy, is being explored and developed by a broad consortium, including the Metroparks, MORPC, private enterprise, Urban Land Institute, the Neighborhood Design Center, etc. Worthington is being asked if we want to jump in and join the effort of envisioning, and creating, a better world. We’ll be discussing this issue tomorrow night (3.8.21) at Council.
The benefits of easy access to parks and waterways are many, and are summarized by the Rapid 5 Project in the slide below: Health & Wellness; Mobility Choice; Environmental Stewardship; Economic Vitality; Social Equity (you can view the full twelve slides here, beginning on pg. 19, and a summary sheet with map on pg. 31, https://www.worthington.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3717). Our own Olentangy Trail is currently visited and traversed by ≈ 400,000 – 500,000 persons per year. Think of the possibilities, here in Worthington, for connectivity to parks—for recreation, socializing, commerce, exploration and learning. Accessible to all, for all time. Yes, why not now?