Columbus (OH) Mayor Coleman Receives National Inner City Leadership Award
By Dave Gatton
November 8, 2010
Columbus (OH) Mayor Michael B. Coleman has received the 2010 National Mayoral Inner City Leadership award given annually by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). Coleman was honored at the Inner City Economic Forum on October 26 in San Francisco. The Forum, held at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, convened over 150 of the nation's most prominent business, academic, civic and government leaders to discuss inner city economic development.
"Mayor Coleman is representative of the kind of leadership needed to improve the economic vitality of America's urban communities," said Michael Porter, ICIC Chairman, Founder, and Harvard Business School Professor. "His efforts and achievements in Columbus should be looked to as an inspiration for other communities across the U.S."
In presenting the award, ICIC President Mary Kay Leonard said that through Coleman's leadership, the city had created and retained more than 30,000 jobs, built 12,500 housing units and facilitated $3.2 billion in private investment in the city.
"I am deeply honored to be given this award by the Initiative for a Competitive City," Coleman told the Forum's luncheon audience. "The work that ICIC does through the leadership of Professor Porter will continue to impact how cities promote business development in some of our most challenged neighborhoods."
The mayor's acceptance remarks included the city's work with Ohio State University as an anchor institution for economic development, as well as initiatives to revitalize downtown and inner city neighborhoods through successful development of the Arena District, renovation of the Lazarus Building and the Columbus Commons.
"When we renovated the King Lincoln Theater, small businesses such as Zanzabar and Urban Spirit followed our investment with private investment of their own," Coleman said. "On the south side, we invested in infrastructure in and around Children's Hospital and as a result new jobs, housing opportunities and mixed use development are popping up throughout the neighborhood," he said.
A major theme of this year's Forum was the use and investment in anchor institutions such as universities and health care facilities to spur greater neighborhood redevelopment for inner city businesses. Porter and the ICIC released new data showing how these institutions can be used to jumpstart economic development in depressed areas.
Coleman serves as Chair of the Conference of Mayors Council for the New American City, which collaborates annually with the ICIC in selecting the Inner City 100, the nation's fastest growing inner city companies.