Columbus, Ohio, is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Ohio. It is also the 14th-largest city in the country, the second-largest in the Midwest after Chicago, and the third-largest state capital after Phoenix and Austin. Columbus is a diverse and vibrant city with a rich history, a thriving culture, and a promising future. Here are some facts and features that make Columbus a great place to live, work, and visit.
Columbus was founded in 1812 at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, as a strategic location for the new state capital. The city was named after the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the Americas in 1492. Before Columbus was established, the area was inhabited by various Native American tribes, such as the Shawnee, Delaware, and Wyandot. The first European settlement in the area was Franklinton, which was founded in 1797 on the west bank of the Scioto River.
Columbus grew rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries, thanks to its central location, transportation networks, and industrial development. The city was a major hub for the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses that helped enslaved African Americans escape to freedom in the North. The city also played a significant role in the Civil War, as a major supply base and training camp for the Union Army. Columbus was also the birthplace of some notable figures, such as James Thurber, a renowned humorist and cartoonist, and Eddie Rickenbacker, a World War I flying ace and Medal of Honor recipient.
Columbus is a cultural melting pot, with a diverse population of over 900,000 people from various ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. The city is home to the largest Somali community in the U.S., as well as sizable communities of Latinos, Asians, and African Americans. The city celebrates its diversity with various festivals, such as the Columbus Asian Festival, the Columbus International Festival, and the Columbus Pride Festival.
Columbus is also a center of arts and entertainment, with a vibrant downtown area, numerous museums, theaters, and galleries, and a lively music scene. The city hosts the annual Columbus Arts Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious arts events in the country, featuring hundreds of artists, performers, and vendors. The city is also known for its culinary scene, with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and food trucks, offering everything from local specialties, such as buckeye candy and Jeni’s ice cream, to international cuisines, such as Ethiopian, Nepali, and Vietnamese.
Columbus is also a sports-loving city, with several professional and collegiate teams, as well as numerous recreational opportunities. The city is home to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a National Hockey League team, the Columbus Crew, a Major League Soccer team, and the Columbus Clippers, a minor league baseball team. The city is also the home of the Ohio State University, one of the largest and most prestigious public universities in the U.S., and its athletic teams, the Buckeyes, who compete in the Big Ten Conference. The city also boasts several parks, trails, and golf courses, as well as the Scioto Mile, a scenic riverfront promenade that connects downtown with several attractions, such as the COSI science center, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
Columbus is a city that is constantly evolving and innovating, with a vision for a sustainable, smart, and inclusive future. The city was the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge in 2016, receiving $50 million in grants to implement a comprehensive plan to improve mobility, safety, and efficiency in the city. The plan includes deploying electric vehicles, autonomous shuttles, smart sensors, and connected infrastructure, as well as enhancing public transit, bike sharing, and ride hailing services. The city also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase renewable energy sources, and improve air quality.
Columbus is also a city that is committed to fostering education, research, and entrepreneurship, with a strong network of academic institutions, research centers, and business incubators. The city is home to the Battelle Memorial Institute, the world’s largest private research and development organization, as well as the Ohio State University, which ranks among the top public research universities in the U.S. The city also hosts the Columbus Startup Week, an annual event that showcases the local startup ecosystem, and provides opportunities for networking, mentoring, and funding.
Columbus, Ohio, is a city that has something for everyone, whether it is history, culture, or innovation. It is a city that is proud of its past, present, and future, and invites visitors and residents alike to discover its charms and potentials. Columbus, Ohio, is the heart of the Buckeye State, and the heart of it all.