PPI study examines two-decade transformation of downtown Carmel

CARMEL – A comprehensive analysis by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute shows how two decades of public investment into Carmel’s central core has impacted the city and its taxpayers.

The benefits by the numbers are detailed in the PPI report, showing more private investment, more jobs, less vacant land, more employed persons, and more taxable assessed value have been realized.

The success of the redevelopment of its central core has helped cement Carmel’s national reputation as one of the country’s best suburbs. However, the PPI report does acknowledge that the project was not without disagreement over the development process and concern regarding Tax Increment Financing as a funding source, among other issues. (more…)

New SPEA course connects students to careers and leaders in community development

IUPUI students volunteer Day of Caring

By Marshawn Wolley, Director of of Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives

As part of SPEA’s long-standing commitment to community engagement and development, the school recently launched the Community Corps program. The innovative initiative aims to prepare the next generation of civic leaders while partnering with many of our community’s nonprofit, faith-based, and public organizations.

A newly-developed course – Indy Community Development Network – is the first of its kind on the IUPUI campus and will give students an introduction to many of the tools utilized in community development. The one-credit course (SPEA-V 450/35782) will be held from 9 a.m. to noon each Friday in February (Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24) and is open to students who have completed at least 60 hours of coursework. (more…)

Borst Fellow and MPA student Thomas Bray immersed in Indiana legislative process

Thomas BrayAs a senior at Fishers High School, Thomas Bray learned first-hand how to argue on behalf of the U.S. Constitution in front of a panel of legislators. His learning process was part of We the People, a national program that challenges elementary and high school students to participate in simulated congressional hearings.

“The We the People program made me realize that I was really passionate about public service and public affairs,” said Bray. “Even though this was not something I wanted to do specifically, the build-up was something that I found I was pretty good at – the research, the writing, the crafting, the paper that was as good to read as it is to speak. That was something that I really found both challenging and enjoyable.” (more…)

Indiana faces up to $8.5 billion funding gap for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure

Drinking water The 20-year statewide funding gap for Indiana wastewater and drinking water infrastructure is estimated to be between $6.5 billion and $8.5 billion, according to a new study by the Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

Between 2005 and 2014, local governments invested approximately $4.5 billion in combined wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. If spending levels remain at the same level, state and local governments will face an annual shortfall between $326 million and $423 million to meet the infrastructure capital needs identified in the report.

“This represents a significant challenge for both local and state government,” said state Rep. Mike Karickhoff, R-Kokomo, who chairs the commission. “There has been a lot of focus on roads infrastructure funding in the state, but it’s incredibly important that we are aware of the needs for wastewater and drinking water and take appropriate steps to close this funding gap.” (more…)

Leaders should be aware of ‘sensemaking’ in post-election


“Sensemaking occurs in organizations when members confront events, issues, and actions that are somehow surprising or confusing.” (The Social Processes of Organizational Sensemaking, Sally Maitlis, 2005).  During this past week, post-election, I believe I have observed our “organization,” the United States of America (as well as other countries around the world), exhibiting this social construction called sensemaking.

What I have observed this week is a look of shock in the eyes of many I pass in the halls. Looks conveying what words cannot. On the street and in public places I see looks of disbelief, confusion, stupefaction, surprise, befuddlement, and in some, fear of the unknown of what lies ahead. (more…)