Indianapolis Latino Neighborhood Revitalization

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The purpose of this project is to revitalize a Latino, urban, neighborhood in Irvington, on the east side of Indianapolis, Indiana, using three levels of design. The 350-acre framework plan includes the area along Washington Street with Irvington Street as the western border, Kitley Avenue as the eastern boundary, University Avenue as the southern border, and Lowell Avenue as the northern boundary. The 84.5-acre master plan site extends from Bolton Avenue east to Kitley Avenue, and from University Avenue to half a block north of Washington Street. The 1.54-acre site-scale plan includes the new Central Plaza and adjacent buildings that front Washington Street between Kenmore and Ridgeview Avenues. The project focuses on integrating the Latino population into the neighborhood and using the culture as design inspiration. This is accomplished by creating compact developments using sustainable development principles, providing affordable housing options, providing opportunities for educational and community services, and using characteristics of the Latino culture, such as the use of plazas and the importance of dance, to determine land use designations.

The plans embrace the Latino culture and create an interesting place for all current and future residents of Irvington. Many elements of design accommodate Latino culture, but also provide a better quality of life for all residents. Case studies of mixed-use and sustainable developments in Indianapolis and across the United States provide insight on how to create a sustainable development that accommodates the Latino population. Research about Latino culture, urban revitalization methods, and how the topics can be inter-related guides the design principles for the Irvington neighborhood renewal. Latinos transform urban environments, and the plans build upon these transformations as a means to integrate the culture into the neighborhood. Latino culture also places emphasis on family values, social networks, and the use of public open space for large gatherings, and these elements of Latino culture are considered in all levels of design. Because of the adversity Latino immigrants face, the design also includes affordable housing, services, and organizations to facilitate upward mobility.

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