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This plan is intended to serve the citizens of Michigan City, Indiana as a plan for urban growth in the city’s North End. It’s most fundamental purpose is to guide future deliberations and decisions which affect the way people build and live. It is a plan which advocates the building of civil communities, the pursuit of economically and environmentally sustainable development practices, and the building and preservation of places which are useful, beautiful and meaningful.
The North End Plan was prepared to be a useful document with realistic ambitions, despite the fact that its tone is set by high ideals. It includes many illustrations which may appear to be impossible in the face of current conditions. Its broad scope and detailed proposals may challenge even the boldest visionary. However, after carefully studying this document in its entirety, the reader is encouraged to consider its true significance to the future of the Michigan City community. Will Michigan City be able to reestablish a substantial North End population in the face of suburban sprawl without such a strategy? Will it be able to harness future growth towards something sustainable, something profitable, something beautiful, something good? In keeping with centuries of American traditions and the practices of the New Urbanism, this plan suggests that townmaking in the 21st century can be an enterprise of building communities and places worth loving. The North End of Michigan City can continue to be such a place.
This project builds on previous and current planning efforts and is intended to become a useful guide for future development. In particular, this proposal draws from recent efforts by the city’s Mayor’s Office, the Michigan City North End Advocacy Team (MCNEAT), and from recent streetscape improvement efforts within the Elston Grove neighborhood.
This plan includes both, visionary illustrations which depict a possible future, as well as tools for the mechanisms of contemporary planning culture. It is essential for the reader to understand the difference: the pictures provide the vision, the diagrams provide tools for understanding, and the code and pattern book provide mechanisms for implementation. This plan asks citizens, government officials, business owners and developers to work together towards something that can be truly fruitful to all. The first step, however, must be taken by the citizens, business owners and property owners of the North End. It is for them that this document has been prepared.
Andrews University School of Architecture
Berrien Springs, MI
Urban, Community and Regional Planning
The 2007 Urban Design Studio and von Maur, Andrew C., "The North End Plan: An Urban Design Proposal and Architectural Pattern Book Produced for Michigan City, Indiana" (2007). Books. 2.