INDIANAPOLIS — The city is taking a new approach to getting public feedback for the future of downtown.
The Department of Metropolitan Development is partnering with community groups to help get the word out that it wants suggestions as part of the South Downtown Connectivity Vision Plan.
”We all talk about how downtown is the center of our city and our state but does it feel like everybody’s place to be?” said Scarlett Andrews, the director of the Department of Metropolitan Development.
With all of the projects and improvements happening at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Market Street, the Convention Center and more, Andrews and others have put together a plan of what they think the future of south downtown should look like.
”There is this incredible amount of investment happening already so how do we bring that together in terms of how you experience downtown,” Andrews said.
Now the city is looking to hear what the people who live, work and play in Indy think about what would improve south downtown.
”Now we want to hear, did we get it right? Are there things that were missing and we want to hear that from the public perspective.”
That is where GANGGANG and cofounders Mali Jeffers and Alan Bacon come in.
”We are out getting the community involved and aware of this plan,” said Jeffers.
GANGGANG is a local creative agency and is in charge of leading community engagement. The goal is to get as many voices as possible involved through social media and conversations.
”A new era of community engagement looks like including more voices, including more perspectives at the planning table,” Jeffers said. “So we are meeting people where they are, which is online and downtown.”
GANGGANG wants you to share your recommendations about the future of downtown Indy by using #DowntownIndy on Twitter or Facebook. You can follow along with all of the posts on this website.
”Almost like the mood board of Indy, as we’re thinking about how to activate and how we want downtown to feel,” Bacon said.
Jeffers said they have already gotten a good amount of engagement.
”All of it is valuable, all of it is worthy and all of it gets offered up to the city for planning,” she said.
GANGGANG also plans to hit the streets, talking to people about what they’re looking for. Folks out in downtown Indy will also start to notice large prompts, encourgaing them to share their thoughts on what south downtown should look like in the future.
”They ask different questions like, ‘Downtown, how do you want your vibe to be here?’, ‘Hey, do you want to design downtown with us?’” Jeffers said.
The idea is to get as many different voices involved as possible.
”We want to hear from art students, college students, high school students and people who are experiencing housing inequality right here in our downtown,” Jeffers said.
The community outreach program will take about five weeks, from there all of the information gathered goes to the city to develop the final plan.