Topeka : creating a sustainable Midwest city : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
This creative project is an education piece in sustainable urban and community design for Topeka, Indiana, a small rural town situated in Northern Indiana. A team of students and professors from Ball State University's College of Architecture and Planning and the Community Based Projects outreach program created the community design. Topeka approached the CBP in 2008, desiring a progressive vision for the future of their community, seeing the decline of their existing urban fabric, industrial core, and looking ahead to the potentials for more sustainable design. CBP hosted a charrette, an intense 3-day design visioning with heavy community interaction in November 2008. The charrette was different from past charrettes the CBP has performed in its focus on the entire scope of sustainable development energy, industry, and community-as its inspiration. One uniting vision was prepared through focusing on these three key pieces. This vision represents a community that is rich in the quality of life it provides for its residents. This website and the vision the CBP drew from the ideas and creations of the people of Topeka is divided into four parts: A section about sustainability-basic facts, what we deal with today, and how to change that. Energy information, primarily dealing with how Topeka currently gets its energy, and how that could be shifted to renewable integration in the future. Industry and economic catalysts-how to create new jobs in growing industries from the current expertise held by the workforce. Community designs and ideas in how to capitalize on the interaction of the people of the town while making it equitable for all.