Last week, the City of South Bend received the Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association’s (APA) 2018 Hoosier Planning Award for Outstanding Implementation for its work on the West Side Main Streets Initiative. The award recognizes an initiative that achieves significant results because of planning. The efforts must have been in effect for a minimum of three years, not including the time for preparation. Specific criteria for the award included originality and innovation, effectiveness, public engagement, the ability to overcome challenges, and sustained success.

The West Side Main Streets Initiative has employed strategies to reestablish vibrant, walkable spaces along Lincolnway West, Western Avenue, and their adjoining neighborhoods. The project has improved the streetscape by installing pedestrian-scale lighting, bump-outs, and bus shelters. The façade matching grant program has leveraged nearly $600,000 in private investment improvements from small businesses. An ambassador program has also been created for the West Side. Overall, these improvements have enhanced the neighborhood and allowed nearby residents to celebrate the revitalization of their community during popular West Side Wednesdays.

“We’re proud to be recognized for empowering neighborhoods through well-executed, inclusive planning,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “This initiative has already brought more energy and activity to the West Side, and we look forward to continuing this approach throughout the community.”