This project examines the role of landscape architecture as the main articulation of the community and development aspects of a sustainable transit corridor. Indianapolis, Indiana is lacking suitable and sufficient mass transit options. The contemporary proposals for an improved transit system for Indianapolis omitted the use of a mode of transportation that has a long history with the city: the streetcar. Indianapolis has, in recent years, promoted cultural landmarks throughout the city by implementing Cultural District designations and building a "Cultural Trail. " Unfortunately, the city continues to suffer from socioeconomic and cultural disparity. This project addresses the potential development possibilities of a streetcar-based transit corridor to connect several of Indianapolis' Cultural Districts. By examining the problem through a "quadruple-bottom-line" approach, aspects of socioeconomic integration, community development, physical connectivity, and "smart growth" were addressed in this proposal as they relate to transit corridor development.
The project began as a comprehensive examination of how a transit corridor could act as a prototype sustainable development to inspire more sustainable development throughout Indianapolis. The supplementary work addressed further investigation into an important gateway site in downtown Indianapolis and specific design elements throughout the corridor. Through research, interviews, and analysis, the location for the corridor and the specific site was established. The proposed transit corridor exists between Broad Ripple Village, Mass Ave., and Fountain Square Cultural Districts. This corridor connects three major cultural landmarks to downtown Indianapolis, as well as offers an efficient, intraurban transit option for local residents (thus expanding the potential area someone could access without a personal vehicle) . The research suggested that streetcars are a more effective type of transit for building local business and community. By integrating community-focused open spaces along the corridor, the proposed transit route could act as a community incubator and prototype for development throughout Indianapolis. In addition, a site is located in downtown Indianapolis between a proposed IndyGO transit center and a commuter rail station. The site is between Alabama and New Jersey Streets, south of Market Street (in the heart of downtown Indianapolis; three blocks east of Monument Circle). This multi-modal site was designed to be an example of how sustainable design and planning solutions could be applied throughout the system.