The village of Marble Cliff is the subject of a studio project for city- and regional-planning students at Ohio State University's Knowlton School of Architecture.
The studio project, a requirement for students majoring in city and regional planning, provides real-world experience for the students after they have completed their classes, professor Jack Nasar said.
"They are able to put into practice what they've learned in class," he said.
The village approached the university originally about having students look at issues related to economic development, including the departure of NiSource, Nasar said.
While the economic development situation in Marble Cliff has improved, there still are a number of interesting issues the students will be able to study, he said.
The village is a good subject because, while it is a small municipality, it deals with the same issues as a larger community, Mayor Kent Studebaker said.
The exact areas of focus for the study will be determined as it proceeds, Nasar said.
Students will talk to Village Council members and residents to find out what issues are important to them, he said.
From the village's standpoint, two issues of interest are whether Marble Cliff can create a more structured review process to rely on when future development proposals are presented, and whether an overlay district plan would be valuable, Studebaker said.
"The overlay plan would not be unlike what you've seen in parts of Grandview," he said.
Another potential question for the students to consider is whether a set of architectural guidelines should be adopted to help regulate renovations to residential properties, Studebaker said.
The village has a number of notable residences, including 10 homes designed by prominent architect Frank Packard, he said.
Other issues could include balancing the interests of residents with businesses and how the village looks at pedestrian needs versus those of vehicles, Studebaker said.
"We have started in the village a little bit of traffic-calming by restriping Cambridge Boulevard between First and Third and adding a bicycle lane," he said.
The students are expected to report on their progress at each month's Village Council meeting, with a final report and recommendations due in December.
"We're eager to see what ideas the students come up with," Studebaker said.
"A group of young minds tend to look at things with a fresh perspective and may come up with some out-of-the-box ideas that we wouldn't think of but would be worth considering," he said.