Monon Boulevard and Midtown Plaza

Monon Boulevard and Midtown Plaza is a multi-use linear park. Once an industrial corridor, the site is located in the heart of Carmel, Indiana. A reimagination of the site began in 2002 when the city completed a 5.2-mile section of the Monon Trail, opening doors for the Arts & Design and City Center. A decade later, Carmel prepared a plan to expand the industrial site into today’s mixed-use redevelopment.


Client:

City of Carmel

Project Size:

7.4 acres, 6 blocks

Location:

Carmel, IN

Team:

Completed:

July 2019

Services:

Urban Design, Landscape Architecture

In Association With:

Crossroad Engineering, LHB Engineering, RLR Associates, White Construction

Awards:

Photography:

Hadley Fruits, Daniel Showalter

Leading the team, we developed a site plan and oversaw construction, replacing a 12-foot wide asphalt path with an expanded 140-feet wide multimodal boulevard for bicyclists and pedestrians. The boulevard is surrounded by low-speed vehicular lanes with curbside parking, tree-lined sidewalks, cycle tracks, and expanded outdoor retail and dining. We integrated signature amenities, including green spaces, biking and hiking trails, lounge areas, a spray plaza, game courts, shade structures, and designated food kiosks and cafes. Alongside the new Monon Boulevard sits Midtown Plaza, a home for public events such as performances, movies, and festivals. Every detail — art installations, lighting, plantings — became important in repurposing the urban space into a destination for everyone.

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With an integrated, high-performance landscape approach to the project’s design, Monon Boulevard and Midtown Plaza provide a regional stormwater collection function for the entire Midtown district, eliminating the need for expensive drainage and promoting healthy tree growth. Visitors will find a canopy of 325 trees on-site to offset carbon dioxide, intercept rainfall, and conserve energy consumption in the nearby buildings for the next 20 years.

Placemaking is for connecting and should be inclusive. Investing in public space and diverse land uses while retaining and enhancing existing small businesses sets Monon Boulevard and Midtown Plaza apart from other redevelopments. This project models how an industrial corridor can evolve into a destination with social, environmental, and economic benefits essential to the community’s urban areas.

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