Two Columbia women have been appointed to lead a collaborative designed to bring the Midlands Reality Check from a community vision into a reality. And three new symposiums are planned over the next two years to help with the effort.
Architect Mary Beth Sims Branham, principal of LS3P Architects & Interiors, and Irene Dumas Tyson, director of planning at the Boudreaux Group, will lead the new Reality Check – Midlands Action Collaborative, according to a news release from the South Carolina chapter of the Urban Land Institute.
The institute last fall conducted the Reality Check, a community event that drew more than 300 participants and was designed to shape what the Midlands region of the state will look like in 25 years.
“With strong consensus for action … the region is on the verge of transformational change,” the institute said in the release.
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Community leaders wanted the region’s growth to be shaped around existing cities and towns with a focus on improving transportation, developing efficiently with good use of green space and protecting and enhancing key economic drivers in the area.
The first of the symposiums will focus on infrastructure and transportation and will be held in October. An exact date has not been set.
Dumas Tyson was co-chairwoman for the Midlands Reality Check, and Sims Branham was co-chairwoman of the Reality Check implementation committee.
The women said in the release that it is imperative that the eight-county region stays motivated in shaping future growth, including the people, organizations, governments and businesses. The counties involved include Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Fairfield, Saluda, Sumter, Calhoun and Kershaw.
“The challenges are multi-faceted and complex,” the release said. “The work cannot be accomplished in silos. With collaboration and cohesion we can create true game changers for the region.”