Use the link above to watch the 2017 award video, or browse the winner list and project descriptions below:

Honorable Mention Transportation Planning: Indy Connect - Central Indiana Transit Plan

The Central Indiana Transit Plan combined years of regional transit studies, plans, and recommendations into a single source of information. The plan was created in a “question and answer” format that enables community residents to quickly find responses to their particular questions. It included general chapters that apply to all of Central Indiana on topics such as transit planning basics, plans for regionally integrating transit, implementation and funding opportunities, as well as chapters specific to any county in which significant transit planning has already begun. The county-specific chapters will be updated and added to as time goes on and plans evolve. State legislation passed in 2014 demands that transit be implemented and funded locally, but the Central Indiana Transit Plan shows that communities are working together to plan for transit regionally. 

Hoosier Planning Award Outstanding Transportation Planning: Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority - Comprehensive Strategic Plan 2016

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority Comprehensive Strategic Plan 2016 Update provided a detailed road map for commuter rail expansion and related economic development in the region occurring over a 30-year period. The goal was to increase connectivity to the Chicago economy.  The update was required by the Indiana General Assembly to access $180 million in state funding to make the rail expansion a reality. The update detailed the costs, benefits, and fiscal and economic impacts of commuter rail expansion. The plan detailed strategies for transit-oriented development communities with a mix of housing, office, retail, and other amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood located within a half-mile of quality public transportation. It outlined transit-oriented development strategies for four station area sites to be built in the West Lake Corridor Extension from Hammond to Munster/Dyer and for the double-tracking of the existing South Shore line from Gary to Michigan City.

Hoosier Planning Award Outstanding Economic Development Plan: Indianapolis MPO - Central Indiana TOD Strategic Plan

The TOD Strategic Plan for Central Indiana provides guidance for community leadership and developers as they consider where and how to target economic development that could follow transit investments. Residents can also refer to the plan to see how their neighborhoods may change due to development opportunities created at proposed bus rapid transit stations. Rather than simply identifying target areas to develop, the plan’s analysis considers at which BRT stations the demand for development will naturally be strongest, then creates recommendations to ensure that development is contextual to the surrounding neighborhoods and has the best opportunity for return on the investment of public dollars. The TOD Strategic Plan provides a powerful tool that communities can use to be prepared for the development demand and to be effective in creating great places at proposed transit stations.

Honorable Mention Outreach and Communication: Union City - Strategic Investment Plan

The Union City Strategic Investment Plan for 2016-2020 is a right-sized, right-timed roadmap for how Union City will achieve its vision of becoming a center for the arts, a place people can thrive, and a place where one can live, work, learn, and play. The plan outlines specific projects, partnerships, and financial commitments necessary to achieve the vision, transform Union City and the region, and support economic development and spur new partnerships. Each project has been identified to fill a specific need and gap in the fabric of Union City and the projects will together result in outcomes that will make the people of Union City proud.

Honorable Mention Outreach and Communication: Indy Connect - Marion County Transit Plan

Marion County held a public referendum in November 2016, asking residents if they would pay higher taxes in return for a better transit system. Indy Connect was tasked with public education throughout the spring and summer of 2016 to ensure that as many residents as possible were aware of the question, familiar with how the tax would impact and benefit them and their community, and ready to cast their vote, either for or against, based on the information they received. Indy Connect used a multi-pronged approach of traditional public meetings, empowering regular bus riders to be “transit ambassadors,” street teams, meeting with neighborhood associations and other community organizations, a multi-platform social media strategy, and radio ads, all informed by a market analysis telling the team of the best ways to reach Marion County residents.

Hoosier Planning Award Outstanding Urban Design: City of Lawrenceburg - Riverfront Master Plan

The Lawrenceburg Riverfront Master Plan focuses comprehensively on the 2.37 miles of the Ohio River that serve as a catalyst for development while respecting and improving the environment and building on the local culture and history. Its purpose is to set a new focus on creating a sense of place along the riverfront, improving the physical amenities and infrastructure to allow for connectivity and activity and to provide opportunities for development and redevelopment within the adjacent business community. 

The Lawrenceburg Riverfront Master Plan is built on the community’s vision of turning perceived current deficiencies into future assets. The goal of the process was to partner with the public to identify a range of possibilities for Lawrenceburg’s riverfront and adjacent lands, while identifying attainable action steps to implement those ideas.