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Harry Eggink: Smart Growth Redevelopment

Even amid the often harsh economic realities left in the aftermath of the Great Recession, architecture professor Harry Eggink urges community redevelopment leaders "to do some dreaming." It's a vital part of the process, he says, of finding ideal uses for land, buildings, and infrastructure lost to time, neglect, or the reallocation of dwindling resources.

Already Eggink spearheaded efforts to revitalize the abandoned millrace corridor in Goshen, Indiana, working up plans—including new housing and pedestrian trail options—that helped city planners secure half a million dollars in federal grants to clean up polluted areas by the canal. 

Together with colleagues from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), he's also guided a group of students from the College of Architecture and Planning in an economic and environmental reassessment of a portion of Indianapolis near 22nd Street and the Monon Trail, on the north side of the Hoosier capital. The group worked with neighborhood leaders, government representatives and design professionals to develop conceptual plans aimed at making the area more sustainable by revamping vacant lots, distressed neighborhoods and old industrial areas.

The idea of smart growth redevelopment is a key goal of the Indianapolis Green Commission, a team of experts appointed by Mayor Greg Ballard to advise municipal government on how to help the city operate more efficiently. An increasingly important component of those considerations—and another area of Eggink's expertise—is improved mass transit systems; in Indianapolis' case, a proposed light rail line reusing a section of the old Nickel Plate Railroad that once bisected the state from Fort Wayne in the north, through Indianapolis en route south to St. Louis. 

For more information about smart growth redevelopment, contact Harry Eggink at 765-285-1907 or visit Eggink's profile page for his e-mail address. For a publication-quality photo, contact Ball State Photo Services