By Mark Ambrogi
The urbanization of suburbs has become a hot planning topic, so the Urban Land Institute Indiana is hosting a “Suburban America in the 21st Century” discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 1 at Launch Fishers, 12175 Visionary Way.
Three Urban Land Institute members — Blair Humphreys, Humphreys Co., Oklahoma City; Lynn Carlson, HOK, Kansas City; and Rob Spanier, Toronto — will serve as panelists.
“To our knowledge this is the first time that three national-caliber experts in land-use planning have been brought together in the City of Fishers,” ULI Indiana Director Jennifer Milliken said. “Because each of them has a national or international practice of their own, they will be able to draw from significant experience in providing feedback on Fishers and metro Indianapolis.”
Humphreys said he is impressed with the Indianapolis suburbs.
“The Indianapolis metro is a strong attractor of millennials due to its livable urban core, low cost of living and expanding economy,” Humphreys said. “As more and more millennials start families, their affinity for great places and a walkable lifestyle will likely continue, but their needs will broaden with more attention on a broader range of housing and access to good public schools. All of this creates opportunities for new and established suburbs that can blend a range of housing options and access to a walkable village center — especially if they can deliver transit access directly to the urban core.”
Humphreys, who is overseeing the development of Wheeler District near downtown Oklahoma City, said planners are seeing a broadening of traditional housing types.
“Housing like townhomes, condo flats and fourplexes are likely to grow,” he said. “And generally I think we’ll see developers reduce square footage to provide higher quality finishes and more thoughtful design at better locations close to village centers.”
Humphreys said the major place-making trends in the Indy area include “well-designed public spaces, an increase in public art and consistent programming to provide everyday activity, all packaged in a location that interfaces seamlessly with shops and restaurants.”
A buffet lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. and the moderated panel discussion will begin at noon, followed by a question and answer session. To register, visit indiana.uli.org/event/suburban-america-21st-century/ or call 800-321-5011.