The Urbanophile posted a blog in mid-July titled “Why I don’t Live in Indianapolis.” It made for an interesting read, and generally accused Indy of being monotonous and boring based upon a proposed less-than-inspiring parking garage design, which the author cites as an example of typical Indy urban architecture.
I don’t live in Indy, but I visit often (for both business and pleasure) and have a number of friends and relatives there. I live out (waaaayyyy out) in the country, and like it that way, thank you very much.
Nevertheless, I identify with an article in response to Urbanophile’s post, titled “Why I Live in Indianapolis.” This author points out that folks (at least, midwestern folks) generally don’t make their (re)location decisions based upon architecture or parking garages. It’s more a matter of where the job is and proximity to family. I like the author’s comment that, “… a key issue is what residents — rather than potential residents — value in a community.” The author goes on to note that a fancy garage might mean lesser-quality grocery stores, and that decisions on community development are more an issue of balancing limited resources rather than improving the visual appeal of a city.
Visual appeal is important – design is important – making the city attractive is important. But the author gets to the crux of the matter with his paragraph:
In the final analysis, each city is likely to make different compromises. Ideally, those compromises reflect the current demands and long-term aspirations of their citizens and institutions. Some may choose well-designed parking garages. Others will focus on neighborhoods, parks, schools or some combination of services and amenities. Those with internal perspectives will view progress as change over time. Those who think more globally will choose to measure progress relative to other cities.
Both articles are worth the read.