Personal Experience: Near Eastside Community Charrette

Posted: October 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Near Eastside Community Charrette for urban development took place at the community centre. The IU – SPEA students and the Ball State students of Urban Development, worked together to create a plan for the local residents of the community to have a sustainable development strategy. It aimed at dealing with most of the problems which the community was facing. I got a chance to attend the event on day 1 and day 2.

Day 1: We presented our slides and showed them the strategies that could be applied to help them develop their community. The residents had a lot of questions based on our presentations. For example:Questioning Time

Which option is more feasible on the Brown field? Solar or Geothermal?

Can the residents be directly benefitted from the Energy?

Can the community sell excess energy to the city of Indianapolis for powering the electric cars? (

How can we eliminate the fear of new technology from the minds of the residents?

How can the strategies in the presentation be used to create more jobs?

Based on the questions they figured out that the three main problems the community is facing is

a)      Employment

b)      Housing

c)       Crime

These were the main outcomes from the discussions on Day 1. The Charrette on Day 2 was going to create strategies for sustainable urban development which could overcome these problems

Day 2: Three teams were made which concentrated on 3 different aspects (with a focus on the above problems). Each team had to come up with at least 3 development plans.

  Team 1: Industrial and Employment


Team 2: Residential and Recreational


Team 3: Energy

I was in the Energy team and thus can describe more about the strategies we came up with.

We first decided to walk to the Brownfield site so that we could get a clearer picture about what we were dealing with.

Brownfield and Community Centre - Paint

-We observed that the back entrance on the community centre must have been a celebrated    location before, but was rarely being used in recent times.

– The sidewalks were incompletely constructed.

– The Brownfield had an E-waste plant which could be used as an asset.

– The I-70 which is near the Brownfield could be used as an asset for Solar.

Solar and Geothermal were the two Energy options which were being considered. There were different ideas such as:

– Brownfield to Solar Field: A Solar Canopy for the whole Brown field area which could be used for organizing certain events like a Farmer’s Market.

–  Solar Canopies for the parking areas of schools and other public buildings

–  Rooftop solar for public buildings such as schools & E-waste plant: Areas and the estimated energy outputs per year were calculated.

–  A Geothermal loop was being considered for the heating and cooling of residential and commercial buildings.

–  Solar Panels on the I-70 close to the community.


–  Brown field to Eco Industrial Park: Scrap wood and saw dust from furniture waste could be recycled to produce pulp and then paper. Organic wastes could be used to produce methanol and Biogas.

–   All the above ideas would result in multiple green jobs.

–   The solar contractors would be used to train local people to manage the solar panels.


There were various designs developed based on these ideas which can be seen in the pictures. Thus the Charrette was a great hands-on experience to learn how multiple sustainability ideas are moulded into a Sustainable Urban Design for the development of communities.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s