INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – There’s a new President and CEO of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and he’s getting to know the communities he serves in a unique way.
Jeremy Kranowitz has lived in a different neighborhood each week since Labor Day. It’s an initiative step he says will help move neighborhoods forward.
“It’s something that I’m hoping we can encourage people to change,” said Kranowitz.
Kranowitz isn’t from here, but he created Operation My Indy to learn what this city is all about.
“I didn’t really know that Hoosier hospitality was truly a thing, but I’ve encountered it multiple times,” Kranowitz added.
Each week, for 15 weeks, he’s stayed in an Airbnb in a different neighborhood. From Beech Grove, to Geist, Haughville, Eagle Creek, Irvington, Broad Ripple and many more. He picked neighborhoods on all sides of town, whether they’re known to be wealthy neighborhoods or low-income areas.
Then, he wrote about his experience online. He says his goal was to learn what makes that community, unique and what projects could make it better.
“Planting trees, some of that has been picking up litter, some of it has been creating pocket parks like the one we are in today,” said Kranowitz.
There are more than 140 pocket parks, like the Heritage Community Garden on Rural Street. Kranowitz says the gardens are supposed to be spaces to grow produce and come together.
“One of the issues though is that right now we’re seeing there’s some litter that has accumulated here, which breaks my heart a little bit,” said Kranowitz.
He’s heard from neighbors who want to see more murals, playgrounds and gardens.
“We are careful when we do that to engage the surrounding community and determine what it is that they want,” said Kranowitz.
Improving spaces may also help reduce crime.
“If lots like this have people that are caring for them, it’s a sign of eyes on the streets and a community that cares,” said Kranowitz.
Changing behaviors in hopes neighborhoods will help keep Indianapolis beautiful.
“To make the city as a whole more vibrant, green place to live,” said Kranowitz.