Bremen Begins Capstone Project with Business Leader Input

Posted by IndianaHCI on July 26, 2018, in Bremen.

The Town of Bremen is setting a course to change the look and feel of their downtown core. While some of the key investments are a few years away – due to funding horizons at the federal and state levels – the town is taking a proactive approach through their Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI) Capstone project.

Rather than waiting for engineers and consultants to weigh in, the Bremen HCI team is reaching out to key stakeholder groups to get valuable input on what will contribute most significantly to maintaining and enhancing the vibrancy of their key asset – downtown Bremen.

After working with Ball State’s Brian Blackford through the HCI Placemaking Building Block to learn more about concepts associated with community design, the Bremen HCI Team is collaborating with their HCI coaches (Purdue Extension educator Mary Foell and Ball State’s Beth Neu) and a team from Purdue’s Enhancing the Value of Public Spaces program to implement their capstone project. The project that has three key components focused on installing interactive design alternatives in downtown Bremen, (e.g., various road-width scenarios, curb bumpouts, sitescaping opportunities, etc.) that will:

  • expose Bremen residents and stakeholders to examples of change well before any permanent changes are implemented;
  • afford Bremen residents and key stakeholders a unique opportunity to provide interactive feedback regarding potential interactive alternative design to the downtown area; and
  • continue promoting the transparent and open dialogue fostered by HCI between the town leadership, community groups, and Bremen residents.

Guided by the principles of ‘tactical urbanism’ and placemaking best practices, the Bremen and Purdue teams hosted a two-hour, interactive listening session with Bremen business owners whose businesses are located in the center of the downtown business district. A lively discussion ensued while the ideas and concerns of the business owners where cataloged by the Bremen and Purdue teams.

Afterwards, the Bremen team provided the opportunity for residents attending the weekly farmers market to provide input by using a “kiosk” that they constructed using wood, chalkboard paint and maps of downtown. First deployed at the annual Bremen Firemen’s Parade in June, the kiosk provides the opportunity for residents to add their thoughts and ideas to a temporary mosaic that can been contributed to, as well as seen and discussed, by participants. The Bremen HCI team has collected all of the responses and will be adding this information to the data collected through all of the other planned engagements.