Recommendations for Thriving Urban Communities

Research Areas: Economic Development, Housing & Community Development

In January 2015, 19 commissioners from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in urban communities came together with one researcher and one facilitator to determine what a thriving urban Indiana should look like. In subsequent meetings over 15 months, commissioners developed strategies and recommendations for how urban Indiana communities could maximize their contributions to a thriving state.

Thriving Communities, Thriving State is a Policy Choices project of the Indiana University Public Policy Institute. Informed by a representative group of community leaders and other stakeholders, it explores state and local strategies and policies that can help Indiana communities of all sizes thrive and fulfill their critical roles in attracting businesses, new business investment, and workers to Indiana.

Instead of examining local issues on a one-size-fits-all basis, Thriving Communities, Thriving State frames Indiana’s changing demographic and economic realities for three kinds of communities:

• Urban: First- or second-class cities that have been among the 10 largest cities since 1900, generally with a population of 50,000+

• Mid-sized: 15,000+ population in 2010 that are not included in urban

• Rural/small town: Small towns are those not captured above with a population between 5,000 and 15,000 or a seat of county government smaller than 5,000. For the purposes of these designations, small communities and unincorporated areas are considered to be rural.

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Expert Team

Drew Klacik
Jamar Cobb-Dennard
Karla Camacho-Reyes
Laura Littlepage
R. Mark Lawrance
  • R. Mark Lawrance
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