The Future of Omaha from the Greater Omaha YP Summit 2016
March 15th, 2016 | Dale Kipple, Community Technologist
Do Space sent three representatives to attend the Greater Omaha Young Professionals YP Summit on March 3rd. One of our attendees, Community Technologist Dale Kipple, shared a little about the experience and what he learned at the event.
While at the Young Professionals Summit in Omaha I investigated the future of our city. I found that the conversation was almost wholly centered around transportation. That is how we get around, accessibility, and where we go. Here I’m going to look at working solutions and how Do Space fits.
The questions of how we get around is very much wrapped up in how the city is built. Omaha is a very broad city that has experienced a lot of sprawl and very little infill. The breadth of the city is a problem right now and there is a solution coming in the form of Bus Rapid Transit which you can read more about here; Metro Bus Rapid Transit. Transit is a problem for the whole city and Do Space benefits from solutions as much as any other location but in the next points we shine.
Access to services no matter what they are is an issue once you begin to head to suburban neighborhoods. We at Do Space are in the middle of the city near to most other services providing access to visitors once they are out and about. Getting out of the aforementioned neighborhoods is of greater concern since many of these were built up with little access to main roads instead being closed in and dotted with cul de sac end points. In this way these neighborhoods have not only been cut-off from services that are distant from them but from things they can see from their backyard. Solutions here include creating more access points where possible but also changing zoning to integrate multi-use commercial areas into neighborhoods. Once we have the access where do we go? In the next point we’ll see that transit doesn’t need to cover large areas to work.
Finally, due to zoning many of Omaha’s buildings were built for a single purpose like industrial, commercial, or residential. In the case of commercial and residential we already have some fine examples of a solution in the downtown Old Market area where buildings often act as both. This type of infill keeps people and services close and decreases the need for road traffic. Of course the Old Market is built as a bit of a destination lending to both traffic congestion and parking problems but in a typical neighborhood having normal services within walking distance resolves much of the need to drive long distances. Do Space is a great example of a multipurpose commercial building that is focused on education. We have a Metro Community College, Dunkin Donuts, and Do Space all together making efficient use of the space and providing the services to accomplish each of our goals. Along with the businesses in the building we provide sufficient parking outside for each which reduces the need to drive around searching for it. Closing the distance between work, home, and entertainment means we spend less time getting where we’re going and more time doing.