BlueprintPlus, A Vision for Downtown, Fort Wayne, Indiana
The process Gianni Longo designed and implemented for BlueprintPlus modified the charrette process to expand the community engagement and first establish an agreed vision for downtown as everyone’s neighborhood. It then used a two-part charrette to enable the city to identify key catalysts projects and the means to implement them. The combination of community support and preparedness contributed to the swift implementation timeline.
The project focused on developing a vision to guide public policy and private investments in the downtown area, design the public places and the buildings to frame that vision, and identify site-specific catalyst projects. It focused less on the core per se and more on distressed but critical areas North and South of downtown. It also focused on ways to link residential neighborhoods east and west of the core. BlueprintPlus identified a total of 49 initiatives, of which 10 were considered to have the potential of being catalysts for further development.
Many of the 49 initiatives have been or are in the process of being implemented, including the conversion of one-way streets, the physical reintegration of the Library and the Grand Wayne Center into downtown, and extensive beautification initiatives. In addition, the project led to the development of Harrison Square, a mixed use project located in the southern part of downtown which includes a minor league baseball park, a new hotel, retail, a parking structure, and residences with an easy walking distance from the downtown core. When not in use for a game, the complex is open to the public as a park.
The City of Fort Wayne, Indiana earned an Award of Distinction from the International Downtown Association (IDA) for planning efforts that resulted in Harrison Square and other downtown revitalization projects in Fort Wayne.