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2010 Livability Challenge - Indianapolis Final Report

2010 Livability Challenge - Indianapolis Final Report

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Published by ceosforcities_docs
Imagine a community taking up the challenge to make art, good design and nature available to every citizen every day. What would full engagement look like? What would be an effective quick start strategy? Where are the early wins to create momentum? And how would a community know when it is succeeding?

We began this critical conversation on the future at the Livability Challenge in Indianapolis, home of the spectacular Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Together with the Central Indiana Community Foundation and Indianapolis Downtown Inc, CEOs for Cities convened national experts and local leaders to generate big ideas for how cities can provide ever-present access to art, good design and nature.

The Livability Challenge was made possible by generous support from The Rockefeller Foundation.
Imagine a community taking up the challenge to make art, good design and nature available to every citizen every day. What would full engagement look like? What would be an effective quick start strategy? Where are the early wins to create momentum? And how would a community know when it is succeeding?

We began this critical conversation on the future at the Livability Challenge in Indianapolis, home of the spectacular Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Together with the Central Indiana Community Foundation and Indianapolis Downtown Inc, CEOs for Cities convened national experts and local leaders to generate big ideas for how cities can provide ever-present access to art, good design and nature.

The Livability Challenge was made possible by generous support from The Rockefeller Foundation.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: ceosforcities_docs on Apr 24, 2013
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The Livability Challenge
October 11-13, 2010
 
ofbyandforus.org
The US Initiative is brought to you by
WITH GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION
Beauty is a challenge.
When it comes to our cities, we rarely speakof beauty. Our urban aspirations tend to be framed in more quotidianlanguage efciency, safety, function, economy. But beauty silentlydrives our decisions. Where will we go for lunch? Is there time to stop atthe park? Have you see that performance? Where should we live? And indriving those decisions it enriches our lives.
Cities that are attentive to beauty understand thatit is an economic engine – an engine that attractsand retains talent and an engine that stabilizes andraises property values. Cities that are committedto beauty understand that it enriches and ennoblesits citizens.The citizens of Indianapolis have made a tremendous commitment to beauty. They’ve builta world class Cultural Trail, invested in one of thepremier public art collections (at the airport),and nine thousand of them volunteered to turnan interstate highway into a thriving arts andnature corridor. When the citizens of Indianapolisencounter the beautiful – in good design, in artand in nature – they are not encountering isolatedmoments or objects, they are encountering theproduct of their concerted eorts and committedchoices.But for Indianapolis (or for any city in America) tobe a model of a beautiful, twenty-rst century city it will have to go further. It will have to redenepublic art, it will have to reimagine the role of public infrastructure and it will have to reconnectto the land. These are some of the Big Ideas thatwere identied at the Livability Challenge inIndianapolis in October 2010. Together the Big Ideas identied in Indianapolis show what it willtake for any city in America to make beauty, in theform of art, good design and nature, available to allof its citizens every day.  What was striking in Indianapolis was how simplethose Big Ideas seemed once they were voiced. Butsimple ideas, even inevitable ideas, are not easy tomake true. It was not until those Big Ideas wererooted in projects in Indianapolis that they beganto demonstrate what a beautiful, livable city wouldbe. A city where investments in infrastructureclean the air and uplift the spirit, a city whereartists and designers solve problems, a city that isat once a park and an economic powerhouse. We wouldn’t have caught a glimpse of that city without the willingness of the Indianapolis teamto hear new ideas or without the ability of thenational guests to recognize what was happening in Indianapolis. But now that we have caught a glimpse we know where we could go.Charlie Cannon
 November 2010
 
ofbyandforus.org
The US Initiative is brought to you by
WITH GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION
FOREWARD
by Brian Payne
I believe if you put a bunch of smart and creative peoplewith dierent experiences, backgrounds and voices ina room and give them a common purpose and a greatfacilitator, magic should happen. Even with all of thisoptimism going in, I was a bit stunned about how greatthe Livability Challenge was and what we accomplishedfor Indianapolis and, I believe, for cities throughout theUnited States.For me personally, and for the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the organization in which I serve as President,there were two major objectives. We wanted to bring localexperts together with national thought leaders to set anagenda for what’s next in Indianapolis that will createaccess to art, beauty and nature every day; and to spreadthe word nationally that Indianapolis is a progressive,innovative city with a quality of life that can attract andretain highly educated, creative and community-mindedpeople throughout the country and throughout the world.My colleagues and I believe we now have a creative andpowerful agenda for what’s next in Indianapolis. Wealso have compelling action plans to move forward on a number of our big ideas. Since the Livability Challengeinvolved and connected so many of our city’s leaders,there is signicant buzz about what transpired. The big ideas that we proposed already have momentum andcompellingly build on our current assets. In fact, ourMayor, Greg Ballard, is on board and wants to help createimplementation teams for each of our ten big ideas. We also accomplished our objective of spreading the workabout our dynamic downtown and amazing quality of life that Indianapolis already has created. The nationalexperts and community leaders from other cities wereincredibly impressed by our Monument Circle area, theIndianapolis Cultural Trail, the art and nature park at theIndianapolis Museum of Art and the quantity and quality of our civic leadership.Trying to nd the balance between serving Indianapolis’needs and creating a national framework for livability was an important and a complex challenge. I didn’t fully understand how we would do that until the challenge gotunder way. Our facilitator, Charlie Cannon, did a brilliant job of leading us to build a foundation for both localprojects and national themes and then helped us connectthe two. This national framework of 21st Century urbanlivability priorities will act as an important buttress forambitious local projects for cities throughout the U.S.This framework is both a huge gift to Indianapolis and a signicant national contribution from the work pioneeredin Indianapolis.
 Brian Payne is president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and co-chair and co-sponsor of the LivabilityChallenge.

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