Gary and other urban areas in Northwest Indiana have weathered decades of disinvestment. Yet they possess significant — if underused — assets, including national parks, miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, transit hubs, historic landmarks, and a strong workforce. While it would make a natural poster child for what is often called "right-sizing," this region is often overshadowed by cities like Detroit, Flint, and Youngstown in this emerging national dialogue.
Nevertheless, the Gary and Region Investment Project (GRIP) is an important sign of how Northwest Indiana is crafting a regional approach to forward key transformative projects with the aim of stabilizing and reinvesting in the urban core.
In this program, Joanna Trotter from the Metropolitan Planning Council and Hubert Morgan from the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning commission gave an overview of GRIP and provided an update on progress to date.
Joanna Trotter is Director of Community Development at the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), a 76 year-old independent nonprofit organization dedicated to shaping a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region. Since joining MPC in 2004, Trotter has advanced MPC's Community Building Initiative, providing technical support to communities across the region to address shared development and investment challenges, including community reinvestment, workforce housing development, and improved transportation access.
Hubert Morgan is the Public Involvement Coordinator for the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission. He has 33 years of experience in regional and long-range planning. Morgan specializes in reaching out to all demographics, especially those that have been historically underrepresented or disenfranchised in traditional planning processes.