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Ohio Street Rain Garden

Ohio Street Rain Garden
A couple of weeks ago, Mayor Greg ballard announced a green infrastructure project which would be located on Ohio Street in downtown. The stretch of sidewalk to be improved (and in this case, improved is the proper term) is between College Ave, and Park Ave. This is the same block that contains the newly, and recently featured here (and here) Nature Conservancy. The project addresses what for many cities today, is a glaring problem. Stormwater runoff management. This specific project aims to tackle this issue by replacing concrete and pavement, with permeated pavement and a rain garden. This is the...
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From sketches to shovel: How The De Rimini fails

From sketches to shovel: How The De Rimini fails
In the fall of 2009, an infill development on the west side of downtown Indianapolis caused a stir with local urbanists. The DiRimini, or as it was called early on, Sarajo Commons, was set to take an empty lot on N. Capitol Avenue. The project is targetting IUPUI students and potential downtown dwellers. Finally, someone was stepping up to fill in one of the many vacant lots on this side of town. The parcel in particular, was located along 733 N. Capitol Avenue, a former grassly lot that had sat vacant for years. When the initial plans were submitted to the Metropolitan Development Commission, the...
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An open letter to the IPS Board regarding School #58

If you are one of the few who have followed my writing, then you know I penned a fairly strong blog on my own site (follow the link to read) a number of months ago when it was announced that IPS was aiming to sieze property adjacent to IPS School #58 on the east side of Indy. It caused an uproar with urban enthusiasts here in the city for good reason. First off, siezing people’s homes so that a parking lot could be constructed is sacreligous for an urbanist. Not to mention all the associated downfalls of this from environmental water issues, to the social implications as well as taking 7 paying...
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Does the Indianapolis Convention Center Renovation represent a failure of design?

Does the Indianapolis Convention Center Renovation represent a failure of design?
This past Sunday, my wife and I had the last minute pleasure of attending the first pre-season Colts game. It was a hot August Indianapolis weekend. We witnessed a great performance by the first team, and then a mediocre performance by the Colts “B” team. When we decided to make our way out of Lucas Oil Stadium,  we left by way of the north gate which lies on South Street and gives you a grand view of downtown Indianapolis’ skyline. If we back up for a second and take a look at what is going on in this area of downtown, we should go back a few years when planners decided to build a...
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Love Your Neighborhood? Then Learn to Hate Your Streets

Love Your Neighborhood? Then Learn to Hate Your Streets
Indianapolis neighborhoods are great. Our city consistently ranks as a top location for inexpensive housing costs. With our diverse and creative citizens, the neighborhoods have always been full of interesting people who care about their communities. Increasingly, our urban neighborhoods are under threat.  Everyone recognizes how crime, pollution, and blight can ruin an area, but few people realize that the greatest risk to communities is one that we invite welcomingly – the automobile. If you are a young American, there is nothing more dangerous than the keys in your pocket.  Nothing is as...
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