Monday, October 11, 2010

Indianapolis to Host First of Five National Workshops Designed to Create the Next Generation of Great American Cities

Selected from 45 cities across the country, Indianapolis has been chosen by CEOs for Cities to host the first US Initiative National Livability Challenge Workshop, to be held at the Indiana Repertory Theatre complex from October 11-13, 2010. With livability defined by CEOs for Cities as “access to art, beauty and nature every day,” the three-day Livability Challenge features presentations from six Indianapolis-based organizations in addition to presentations and workshops lead by a panel of national livability experts. The US Initiative is a nationwide campaign pearheaded by CEOs for Cities to create cities that are of, by and for us.

Sponsored and co-hosted by Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. (IDI), the Challenge will feature projects meant to dramatically influence the city’s livability from: The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc., Blackburn Architects, Indy Parks and Recreation, Central Indiana Community Foundation and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. The invitation-only event will also include input and discussions from approximately 100 local business and civic leaders with a goal of identifying 12 actionable projects that will continue to transform the city of Indianapolis.

The event’s agenda will also feature presentations identifying livability trends from nationally-recognized experts, including: Adrian Benepe, Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; Donald K. Carter, Director, Remaking Cities Institute, a research center in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University; Deborah Marton, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space; William B. Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer The Trust for Public Land; and Lily Yeh, Principal, Barefoot Artists.

“We are honored that CEOs for Cities chose Indianapolis as its first host for this exciting process, not only because we recognize the potential benefits from hosting the event, but because it also underscores the achievement we have already made in livability and quality of life in Indianapolis and central Indiana,” said Brian Payne, president, Central Indiana Community Foundation. “The Challenge presents our civic and business leaders with an incredible opportunity to share our ideas and vision with a collection of the foremost livability experts in the country. We’re confident that this will be an important process, one that will add even more luster to Indianapolis.”

“Downtown Indianapolis has certainly come a long way, from “India-No-Place” some 20 years ago to being recognized today as a national model for urban revitalization,” said Tamara Zahn, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. president. “We’re very excited to showcase Downtown, including The Canal and White River State Park Cultural District and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, as part of the CEOs for Cities Livability Challenge. The ideas, insight and inspiration generated during the Livability Challenge will certainly contribute to Downtown’s promising future.”

“Indianapolis is a city that has put a stake in the ground on the value of being a city defined by inspiring places,” said Carol Coletta, president and CEO, CEOs for Cities. “It only makes sense,then, that Indianapolis would be the host city for the Livability Challenge. It's a city that has much to teach and with leaders who have demonstrated their ability to turn big ideas into reality.”

The Community Challenge – the second in the US Initiative series – will take place in Detroit, Michigan from December 10 - 11, 2010.

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