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Gaining ground in “Great Places”

People, vision, hard work: that's what it takes to create vibrant neighborhoods, according to an Indianapolis cafe owner working to be a catalyst for change as part of Great Places 2020. The program focuses on fueling healthy livable places, where there are thriving businesses and good jobs, growing populations and strong educational options for lifelong learning. Great Places 2020 energizes neighborhoods, said Bill Taft, executive director of LISC Indianapolis, in part because it enables residents to come together and participate in the growth of their community.

The excerpt below is from:
Connecting with Community: Great Places 2020
By Nicole Misencik, WTHR 13

MARION COUNTY (WTHR) - What makes a great neighborhood? That's a question that Great Places 2020 is answering, and putting to work in three areas in Marion County.

One of those areas is the Englewood Village neighborhood where Pia Urban café and Market has been open for business for three months. Caffeine energizes the customers, but the buzz is about community growth.

Kim Clanton has lived in Englewood Village for 26 years. She's a customer and employee of the coffee shop that's changing the landscape of the neighborhood.

"It's nice to have something in your neighborhood that you can just walk to it," Clanton said. "People want to be here. People live here by choice. They can live wherever they want, but they choose to live here and they choose to live here because of the community that's up and coming."

Englewood Village is just one of three Great Places 2020 communities in Indianapolis. It's at Rural & East Washington Street. Another is Maple Crossing at 38th & Illinois, along with River West at Michigan & King Street.

Bill Taft, executive director of Indianapolis' Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), calls Great Places 2020 "an effort to create strong neighborhood centers in urban neighborhoods that will basically attract reinvestment around them and reposition these neighborhoods to be some of the strongest neighborhoods in the city." Continued[+]...