Excerpts from IndyStar.com | By Brian Eason |

Mass Ave. Broad Ripple. Fountain Square. How about Englewood Village, River West, and Maple Crossing?

The latter three aren’t exactly household names — today, you won’t even find them on a map of Indianapolis — but a broad coalition of city leaders, nonprofits, and power brokers thinks they can make that change over the next four years.

This article introduces Great Places 2020.  According to the report, more than 50 partner organizations have already committed $84 million to the initiative, led by LISC, a national community development organization that on Tuesday announced it would pony up $50 million.  Mayor Joe Hogsett, too, pledged to commit city staff and resources to help support those private-sector investments.

The articles states that idea came from the Project for Public Spaces, a national group focused on planning, design and education issues in urban neighborhoods. PPS says a great city needs 10 great places, and each of those needs 10 great things to do, to make them attractive places to live.

“A rising tide lifts all boats, and that’s what Great Places 2020 is all about,” Hogsett said. “It’s not enough to have only one great neighborhood in a city. We need to provide every single resident in Indianapolis with close-to-home opportunities.”

By 2020 — the city’s bicentennial — LISC and its partners hope to bring six new Great Places into the fold. They’re still deciding on the final three, but the first neighborhoods were chosen in part because of their potential, and in part on some evidence of market growth already underway.

Maple Crossing

There’s no doubt this one of the six Great Places, at 38th and Illinois streets, faces a troubled present. But its future could be bright. The city is investing $5 million in Tarkington Park, providing a major amenity within the quarter-mile focus area. And planners have high hopes for what it could become with the right vision from area partners and arts organizations.


Read the entire article as originally published.


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