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On our city’s recent history

I overheard this on this bus today: “Indianapolis used to be a beautiful city. Then for the last 40 years, they tore down anything old and put up a parking garage or something.” It’s a statement that hit home with me. I really wanted to quibble, but I could not. Recently at my work I have been reviewing Sanborn Fire Maps from 1956. The shear volume of good urban structures that have been lost in the past 50 years is staggering. Even worse, at least 9 out of 10 times they were replaced by something less attractive: a parking lot, a widened roadway, a gas station, a strip mall. ...
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Ogilville, Freetown, and Clear Spring: the opposite of Urban

My wife has family near Clear Spring in Jackson County.  Here’s a small sampling of the structures that can be found on the way. First, Ogilville.  Nice old general store, and not much else to speak of. Across the road, I declared this the world’s shortest sidewalk: The sky was perfect that day:  Freetown is next: No Name Street.  For real: Finally, Clear Spring.  Former school: This general store was open last year.  I was sad to see it closed.  The sign reads “since...
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UNWA update

Reader Aaron + Alaine has alerted me to a new development implementation plan for the UNWA neighborhood. I’m happy to see that there is a movement to revitalize this area.
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Shelby Street: Underdog of the South Side

Two weeks ago, I blogged about the potential for College Avenue. The street on the South Side with the best potential for density is a much less-traveled street, Shelby. Shelby is South Side all of the way, literally. It starts just south of Washington Street, the zero point on our street grid on the east side. It then heads through Fountain Square, and is the address for the new Claus’. Next up, Garfield Park, which is a gorgeous throwback to a time when a park was more than just a few benches, trees, and grass. Along the way are numerous multi-use buildings and historic apartments. Like...
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Urban Planning Scholar Series: Complete Streets

Health by Design is hosting an upcoming workshop regarding the nascent Complete Streets movement. It is, amazingly, free to the public. If you are able to attend, please report back. It sounds like a fine program.
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