Summer 2015–January 2016
In the summer of 2015, Professor Lisa Dunaway was contacted by Heather Williams, the Program Manager for Building Better Neighborhoods at Ball State, about creating an immersive learning partnership between the neighborhood and an urban planning studio from Ball State University. At that time, TPA claimed their spot on a list of neighborhoods awaiting plans. Conversations between Ms. Dunaway, Ms. Williams and Mark Lloyd of the neighborhood association continued and the action plan was set to begin in January 2016.
During the first weeks of the semester, the graduates students researched TPA to gain a better understanding of the history of the neighborhood. At their first meeting together in February 2016, the studio and neighborhood residents talked about what they hoped to accomplish by creating an action plan. Existing strengths and areas in need of improvement in the neighborhood were also a part of the discussion.
The students then continued to learn about the TPA community through several visits to the area. In a process that involved taking several pages of observational notes and photographs, the studio conducted an extensive site analysis that looked at the existing physical conditions in the area such as sidewalks, streets, land uses, lighting, and trees.
After finishing the research process, students created maps of existing physical conditions and questions for surveys that were distributed to residents in TPA. These surveys aimed to help the studio better understand the needs and wants of the community.
The given goal groups were:
The initiatives in these groups were taken directly from the resident interests brought up at the first meeting.
At the March meeting, students presented the maps they had created of the existing physical conditions and received feedback from the residents on those maps. The students then had sufficient information to continue refining the maps. The residents were also presented with a list of the proposed goal groups and the initiatives within each goal group for feedback from the residents. After the meeting, students began to research how to accomplish the initiatives requested by the residents and map out suitable and unsuitable locations for the initiatives.
The April neighborhood meeting highlighted each initiative and opened up the suitability maps to the community residents for discussion and feedback. Five proposed logos, designed by the students, for the TPA Neighborhood Association were also presented to the residents and voted upon. From this feedback and further research, the students completed the TPA Neighborhood Action Plan (TPANAP).
In May, residents were presented with the completed neighborhood action plan to be given to the TPA neighborhood, including the creation of this website. Once turned over, the students’ work was largely done with the responsibility for carrying the action plan to completion falling on the residents and neighborhood association. Professor Lisa Dunaway Heather Williams will remain available to the TPA Neighborhood Association as consultants able to provide advice and guidance on carrying out the action plan.
The INAP was created based on community input on the neighborhood’s needs and desires for future development. Appropriate use of these resources will help to ensure that the TPA Neighborhood Association can meet its goals and provide a better place to live in the neighborhood.