College of Architecture and Planning

Indianapolis Center Recognized for Design Guidelines Project

The College of Architecture and Planning's long-standing commitment to Indiana communities was again recognized on May 29 by the Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association.

The 2008 award for Excellence in Planning for Outstanding Project was awarded jointly to the City of Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, and the College of Architecture and Planning Indianapolis Center (CAP:IC) for their partnership in the Indianapolis Regional Center Design Guidelines project.

The Design Guidelines give clarity to the city's design review process while seeking to promote excellence in design. Authorized by the Regional Center Zoning Overlay District adopted in 1980, the guidelines also build on the Regional Center Plan 2020, a project CAP:IC provided substantial support for. 

In addition to setting design and performance standards for all new development and redevelopment activities in the downtown area, a new public hearing process was developed for major downtown projects, providing community groups and residents an opportunity for comment for the first time. Guidelines vary by location, and a GIS-based website is currently under development that will allow designers and developers to extract only those guidelines applicable to their address. 

CAP:IC managed the initiative under the direction of the City of Indianapolis and the Historic Landmarks Foundation's Urban Design Oversight Committee. Several design charrettes invited professionals in to explore potential guidelines in different parts of downtown. CAP:IC staff and a half dozen graduate assistants also managed the nearly 3-year process and provided extensive graphic and technical support.

The work of the College through CAP:IC has been previously recognized with a Cultural Vision Award by NUVO newsweekly in 2003 and a Digital Education Achievement Award from the Center for Digital Education in 2003.