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Out & About in Cleveland

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City Club Presentation by Brian Payne

On Friday, July 28th, we went to the City Club for a program in which the guest speaker was Mr. Brian Payne, President and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and the Founder of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick.

During his presentation, Mr. Payne talked about how the Indianapolis Cultural Trail (which has been said to be "the best North American example of a big, bold transformative project that is changing the way we think of cities and city life" by the Project for Public Spaces) came to be founded and how it has positively affected Indianapolis.

Mr. Davis wisely dubbed "connectivity" the theme of the 21st century and it must be implemented in a way that celebrates the community. It sure seems like the Cultural Trail does just that because it is an 8 mile bicycle and pedestrian pathway that connects approximately five cultural districts in Indianapolis in addition to various venues of the arts, sports, and entertainment.

It cost $63 million to create out of which $35.5 million came from Federal Transport funds and $27.5 million from private donors including a $15 million grant from Indianapolis Developer Gene Glick and his wife, Marilyn.

The Cultural Trail was completed in May, 2013 after years of planning and execution and the results have been outstanding. Along these lines, Mr. Payne showed us slides which read:

"According to the Indiana University's Public Policy Institute, parcels on or within 500 feet of the Cultural Trail saw an increase of assessed property value of $1 billion dollars from 2008 to 2014."

and

"There has been hundreds of millions of dollars of new development on the Cultural Trail so far-and additional hundreds of millions planned."

Before the program started, we visited with Mr. Jamison Hutchins, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Department of Public Works for the City of Indianapolis, who hailed Mr. Davis as a great guy and an outstanding innovator. Other testimonials about Mr. Davis and his works were given by former Lt. Governor of Ohio and Senior Advisor of "CEO's for Cities"; Mr. Thomas McNair, Executive Director of "Ohio City, Inc."; and Mr. Matt Schmidt, Vice Director of Public Education of the Cleveland Chapter of the American Planning Association.

We believe that we recognized Mr. Steven Litt from "The Plain Dealer" in the audience so we looked up an article of his entitled "The new Indianapolis Cultural Trail is a masterpiece of bike-friendly design Cleveland should emulate" that appeared in "The Plain Dealer" on May 18, 2013 and have thus included the link which is: http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2013/05/the_new_indianapolis_cultural.html.

Indeed, at several times during his speech, Mr. Payne talked about how he had toured Cleveland the previous day and was very inspired about what he saw taking place in our city as well as the great potential for projects comparable to what he initiated in Indianapolis.

Above all, he wanted to emphasize that the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is not about bicycling (or for that matter the act of walking) but it is about creating the best quality of life possible. Accordingly, the Cultural Trail is "inviting, beautiful, and safe" and was built not to serve those aged "8 to 80" but the more all-encompassing age group of "4 to 94".

 

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

 

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