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Even when the rest of Ohio began to suffer industrial decline in the second half of the 20th century, Columbus grew, primarily because its economy is based on state government, education, finance and insurance, and light industry. Continued prosperity has made Columbus an attractive place to live and visit. The city is home to Ohio State University, which is the state's largest
academic institution, with more than 50,000 students. Another well-known local institution is the Columbus Zoo, one of the nation's most acclaimed.
Downtown is fairly compact and easily walkable. Some government buildings are connected to each other and to nearby buildings through underground walkways.
The Brewery District, German Village, the Arena District, and the Short North are adjacent to downtown. The major thoroughfare that runs near or through each of these areas is High Street. The Brewery District and German Village are next to each other south of downtown, while the Arena District and the Short North are next to each other north of downtown. The Ohio State Campus is just north of the Short North. In these areas, streets are narrow, on-street parking is limited, and valet parking is expensive. If you're on the northern end of downtown, it's a manageable several-block walk to reach the Arena District and the Short North. If you are on the southern end of downtown, it's a several-block walk to reach German Village and the Brewery District.