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Answered: What if Indianapolis looked like this?

From rapid rails to more public rooftop spaces and a live music strip, here are some of your answers for “What if... Indianapolis looked like this?”

Indianapolis with underground subway

Can you picture Indianapolis like this?

AI generated images by Google’s Image FX

We asked, and you delivered. Hundreds of you responded to our call-out in the newsletter and on social media for “What if... Indianapolis looked like this?”

We dug through the answers and pulled out a few that shared similar themes. As a reminder, this is meant to get a conversation started. We don’t have any plans (or the means) to develop gardens atop every parking garage.

Easier transportation options

Several folks called for easier travel + improved public transportation. What if...

“We had a rapid rail to and from the airport?” — Deb T.

“Indy had a light rail above the city that traveled as far north as Chicago and as far south as Louisville?” — Jules B.

“We had a subway? Driving brings down quality of life.” — Sheila

“Honestly an underground rail system that connects downtown to the airport should be a serious conversation.” — @chitwoodmedia

“We actually used the city canal for transportation? Like the canal narrowboats in the UK, as was originally intended. Boats for leisure, sightseeing, commuting, lodging, even food boats, etc. Would take work, but we’re dreaming here…" — @kylesbarnett

“Parking downtown was free? More motivation to go downtown.” — Laura

Economic development

Folks want to see economic development. What if...

“We had more downtown retail instead of empty apartments?” — Dawn

“Restaurants and shops were on the White River close to downtown? It seems good real estate for this area is not being used.” — Ginny

“We took an abandoned building site and turned it into a destination amusement park?” — Julie T.

INDY_Indianapolis with rooftop gardens_AI Generated

What if the tops of the parking garages were event spaces with rooftop gardens?

AI generated images by Google’s Image FX

Emphasis on more pedestrian-friendly spaces

There is a strong call for better walkability and bikeability. What if...

“More public rooftop spaces, more trails, and walkable paths with sidewalks…" — @hotwalkindy

“I moved to Indy nearly a year ago and have been shocked at the lack of sidewalks for residents. In my hometown, they have walking paths between many of the public parks to create a giant walking trail. My running group used them frequently, I walked my dogs, and I found a few new small businesses along the way while working to stay healthy.” — Penny L.

Green light for green solutions

We love that so many of you want to see Indy go green. What if...

“The roofs of restaurants were gardens so all of their produce was freshly harvested?” — Judy

“What about public gardens? The city needs more green space.” — @roseavenueliterary

“Indianapolis was a vibrant, progressive, walkable city with curb side recycling, native green spaces, and clean, safe streets?” — Anonymous

“Whe had more of a connected/activated downtown and White River? White River State Park is great but on the side of downtown is still very industrial. What if we redeveloped that land with pathways and open green space and maybe a pier/dock out into the river to activate the waterway for water sports and activities?” — @_abhammer

“Indianapolis cared about water and air quality enough to make them healthy to consume? It’d be nice if the White River lived up to its name again.” — @astralsolitude

White River State Park with pickleball courts

Some of you have asked us about pickleball courts downtown, so here’s what AI imagines.

AI generated images by Google’s Image FX

Community building initiatives

There is a focus on community support systems, events, and a general sense of local pride. What if...

“Downtown Alleyways were turned into welcoming spaces with rope lights, art, delightful moments, pleasant smells (like Chatham Passage on Mass Ave), etc.” — Morgan S.

“Indy had a great live music strip?” — Martie H.

“They housed the homeless community in the empty jail downtown? Perfect accommodations — bathroom, showers, kitchen, shelter.” — Stuart R.

Get involved

Though you are more than welcome to always share your thoughts with us via our comments section or inbox about any local news, we encourage you to share those same thoughts in a way that brings about the changes you want to see in our city, whether you have a good idea for development or you’re in opposition to one.

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