Thriving Communities, Thriving State honored as state's Bicentennial Legacy Project

December 09, 2014

An Indiana University Public Policy Institute proposal to examine innovative strategies that lead thriving communities has been endorsed by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, who is planning Indiana's observance of its 200th birthday.

With the endorsement by the Commission, the “Policy Choices for Indiana’s Future: Thriving Communities, Thriving State” proposal becomes a Bicentennial Legacy Project.


Two co-chairs, former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Randall T. Shepard and former Indiana lieutenant governor Kathy Davis will lead the project. The Institute is a multidisciplinary non-partisan policy research entity within the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.


Three place-based commissions will be formed to evaluate issues affecting Indiana’s urban communities, suburban and medium-sized communities and rural communities. As the commissions gather information, the Institute will host public policy conversations around innovative policies, leading to a 2016 gubernatorial forum.


Discussion and recommendations will be framed around issues such as workforce development and education; sustainability and the environment; infrastructure; health, arts, amenities, and recreation; and local government finance.


Assisted by the Institute, the three commissions will make recommendations to state and local policy leaders about which current policies help or hinder communities, where policy gaps exists and what policy changes are needed to support communities. Additionally, the project will engage communities through ongoing public forums and conclude these discussions with a gubernatorial forum in August 2016.


Legacy project proposals are required to meet one of four criteria: culturally inclusive; creating a legacy for the future; celebratory; and engaging and inspiring to youth and young adults.


“Through this project, we are giving residents, community leaders and elected officials an inside perspective of what’s going on and what options exist to enhance our current direction,” said Mark Lawrance, Director of the IU Public Policy Institute. “We hope our research helps inform community discussions about Indiana’s future that will take place during 2016 and beyond.”


About Indiana's 2016 Bicentennial Celebration


Visit Indiana Bicentennial Website

See the Bicentennial Legacy Projects

Indiana's 2016 Bicentennial celebration aims to honor our state’s 200 years of history, but do so in a modern way that engages all 6.5 million Hoosiers and leaves a lasting legacy for future generations.