Downtown Indianapolis is at a crossroads and once again, poised to advance. There is movement. There is magnitude. And as a result of the Velocity plan, there is direction.
Over the past four decades, Downtown Indianapolis has fortified its position as Indiana’s center of commerce, government, medicine and education. Downtown has become a national success story with its growth of tourism, sports, arts and entertainment. Now, building upon a legacy of thoughtful leadership, wise planning and public/private investment, Downtown is emerging as a collection of multi-dimensional neighborhoods offering a variety of choices for living, innovating and celebrating.
So enters Velocity — a strategic, yet tactical plan that recognizes a changing environment, mobilizes resources and sets a path of action. A diverse array of passionate community stakeholders has contributed their time and energy to set our course. Velocity aims to refresh the vision for Downtown, and then accelerate implementation — movement with direction —guided by a shared roadmap. The project is led by Downtown Indy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring Downtown Indianapolis is a vibrant place to live, work, learn and visit.
Velocity had six working advisory groups that focused on critical issues and economic sectors that contribute to Downtown’s overall vitality. The process also included forums with residents of neighborhoods adjacent to Downtown, as well a public survey that generated more than 3,000 responses. Public outreach efforts engaged a broad cross-section of Indianapolis’ residents, employers, workers and leaders into the planning process and helping identify challenges, opportunities and priorities. Some of the plan’s tactics include:
Economic Development strategies and highlighted tactics
- Encourage innovation and foster entrepreneurial businesses and sites.
- Improve, enhance and expand Downtown’s core industries (e.g., research, medical, office, tourism, retail, etc.).
Housing, Neighborhoods & Livability strategies and highlighted tactics.
- Drive Downtown as a collection of multi-dimensional work, live and play neighborhoods.
- Strengthen connections to neighborhoods surrounding Downtown.
Downtown Environment & Experience strategies and highlighted tactics
- Maintain a clean and safe Downtown experience.
- Offer and articulate a vibrant experience day and night for residents and visitors.
Multi-Modal Transportation Solutions strategies and highlighted tactics
- Promote and enhance public transit options that better connect Downtown to surrounding neighborhoods.
- Increase awareness and promote all options for getting around Downtown, especially walking and biking.
Public Spaces & Activation strategies and highlighted tactics
- Utilize new and existing public/green spaces to engage a diverse range of users and stimulate new development.
- Collaborate to maintain public spaces and assets within Downtown in beautiful/safe condition.
Arts, Culture Sports & Attractions strategies and highlighted tactics
- Promote stronger co-marketing and collaborations that will cultivate participation in events and experiences.
- Build a stronger network and more collaborative infrastructure to support arts, culture, sports and attractions.
Since its mission is solely focused on developing, managing and marketing the geographic perimeters of the regional center, Downtown Indy will have the majority of the responsibility to enact the plan. Other civic organizations and the City of Indianapolis have agreed to steward various tactics through the execution phases of Velocity, including the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indiana Sports Corp, Indy Chamber, Indy Hub, IUPUI, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, LISC and Visit Indy.
Leadership from these organizations and other subject matter experts will serve as an ad-hoc Velocity Implementation Team and meet periodically over the next five years to continue the refinement, development and prioritization exercises required of the plan. To download a complete version of the plan, go to www.indyvelocity.com.