AWARD-WINNING CITYVOICE APPLICATION TO INFORM WEST SIDE CORRIDORS PLAN

CityVoice, the City of South Bend Code for America team’s award-winning application for gathering feedback on vacant and abandoned properties, is now being used for a new purpose: collecting input for the City’s West Side Corridors Plan.

The Corridors Plan involves the revitalization of Lincolnway West and Western Avenue. It will serve as a guide to business and property owners, residents, developers, elected officials and other stakeholders in making investment, land use, and design decisions along these corridors. The plan will be developed through a series of public workshops April 23-26, and will be completed this summer.

CityVoice for the West Side Corridors has been developed by PostCode, LLC, a company comprised of Code for America fellows who previously developed the CityVoice application for vacant and abandoned properties. Code for America, known as the technology world’s version of the Peace Corps, connects web-industry professionals with municipal governments to promote openness and efficiency. Throughout 2013, Code for America worked with the City of South Bend to develop CityVoice, which was the co-recipient of the Civic App of the Year award.

“By gathering input from residents, CityVoice will help us take a more efficient and proactive approach in addressing the needs for the Lincolnway West and Western Avenue corridors,” Deputy Mayor Mark Neal says. “It will allow us to hear directly from the stakeholders about what they want to see in the master plan.”

To offer feedback, residents can call 574-696-0315 and complete a three-minute, 11-question survey that will collect information on desired shopping, dining, and leisure activities along the Lincolnway West and Western Avenue corridors, and general ideas for improvements. Residents will also be invited to provide input during a series of public meetings to be held April 23-26.

The City, in conjunction with the Urban Enterprise Association (UEA) of South Bend, has hired the architectural and planning firm, Torti Gallas and Partners, to guide the development of the plan.

“The UEA is thrilled to be a part of the corridors project,” says Common Council Member Karen White (At-Large), vice president of the Urban Enterprise Association. "The plan developed will provide a vision for retaining and expanding existing businesses, attracting new businesses, and improving the quality of life for residents.”