Thursday, October 21, 2010


Grant will help city incorporate sustainability at the planning level

The Planning Division of the Department of Metropolitan Development will receive $1,197,622 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement sustainable elements at the city planning level in order to improve Indianapolis' quality of life. As a part of HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant, the funding will be used to help update zoning ordinances and development requirements allowing better use of existing developed areas and how to configure new development to better suit future needs. The three year effort will focus on three areas of the City with prototype projects and then evaluate how those prototypes can be implemented on a broader scope.

"This grant is a welcomed boost to our effort to become one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "Incorporating more sustainable concepts into our planning process will help solidify sustainable living as a mainstream practice in Indianapolis for decades to come."

In a parallel move, a task force will be created to address issues on a county-wide basis to help with big picture ordinance revisions. The lessons learned will help redevelopment in the three targeted neighborhoods to devise methodologies that can be applied for the whole county. The areas targeted are near 22nd and Monon Trail, Shelby and Hanna and East 10th street between State and Rural.

"As we reflect on the two years since Mayor Ballard created the Office of Sustainability, we have a lot of great programs to celebrate," said Kären Haley, director of the City's Office of Sustainability. "Receiving this grant will allow us to look for ways to implement sustainable elements early in the planning stages of development. This is just another great step towards Indianapolis becoming one of the most sustainable cities in the Midwest."

HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants will foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. These funds will be used by communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. When these activities are done in conjunction with transportation projects, they can greatly increase the efficiency and access of local transportation while encouraging mixed-use or transit-oriented development. Such efforts may include amending or updating local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to support private sector investment in mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings. Other local efforts may include retrofitting main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors, or preserving affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.

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