IU students present development ideas for South Bend

South Bend Tribune (IN), 2014-07-29


July 29 -- SOUTH BEND -- Graduate students from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs spent 12 weeks with South Bend as their project.

Two groups from an SPEA online course presented proposals Monday evening for two developments the city could consider in the future. The first proposal was a student-conceived idea for a South Hub development near Four Winds Field, brining in more housing, business and entertainment to the area just south of downtown.

The second was for a Westside Greenway Rails to Trails project, converting about two miles of abandoned railways on the west side to a walking and bike path.

The project and presentations were not only a way for the students to get real world experiences, but to help the city look at future developments, IU Professor Frank Nierzwicki , who taught the course, said.

" South Bend is on the verge of redeveloping, redefining and enhancing itself to be a true model city of the 21st century," Nierzwicki said. "We see our work as continuing the city's rebirth and encouraging further community enhancement and commitment."

Even though the two projects focused on different developments, IU student Kevin Yokim said both have quality-of-life issues at the heart of them. If developed, both projects, he said, address ways the city could improve residents' lives by investing into a community and letting it shape what it wants to become.

Though the students' work may not actually be implemented, their research into how any development will succeed in South Bend had one common thread

-- community involvement.

Student Anna Duquaine said her research focused on finding the stake holders, which always came down to the people in the community. For developments in South Bend to really succeed, she said, there has to be a push to make people care enough to see the projects through.

"I really encourage people to support these efforts in their community," student Lesley Marling said.

LWright@SBTinfo.com

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Twitter: @fljwright

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