Topic: College of Architecture and Planning

December 14, 2009

The Circle City is well aware of how much Ball State University has helped guide its planning efforts over the years. Now the nation knows.

The American Planning Association (APA) honored Indianapolis' Regional Center Design Guidelines with the 2010 National Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice.

Nearly 20 students from Ball State's College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) were involved in the project helping facilitate the design guidelines, building the Web site and coordinating meetings. They also participated in developing overall policy principles, working with the other partners to write the guidelines as well as managing all of the publications and illustrations, said Brad Beaubien, director of CAP:Indianapolis Center.

"I'm humbled to again have Ball State recognized for an innovative community partnership that paired immersive student learning and our academic expertise with a community need," he said. "It always feels good to be part of a large family in central Indiana, working day in and day out to keep our region competitive, protect our investments and improve the quality of life for us all."

The guidelines are steering the development of downtown Indianapolis, providing the city with a crucial how-to manual, said Marie York, who chaired APA's awards committee.

"The guidelines are a great example of what a set of design guidelines should look like and provide users," she said. "They are thorough and offer specific guidance so there is little doubt in understanding the city's desires for maintaining a well-designed urban space."

Additional partners who contributed to earning the award include the Urban Design Oversight Committee and the City of Indianapolis' Planning Division. The award will be presented at APA's national conference in New Orleans on April 12.