Turn to the River


Smart Growth & Economic Development
Session 2
11:25-12:15

Turn to the River: Building Sustainability through Public Art and Design

University Hall 103
Mary Kramer, Executive Director, Art Spaces
Pat Martin, Chief Planner, City of Terre Haute

Turn to the River is a plan to reconnect Terre Haute's downtown with the Wabash River through public art and design. Funded in part through the "Our Town" Initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, the plan is a creative placemaking project of Art Spaces, Inc., Terre Haute's award-winning outdoor sculpture organization. Our Town projects are helping to transform American communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places. J3 Concepts, an urban planning and consulting firm, developed Turn to the River with Art Spaces.

Panelists Mary Kramer and Pat Martin will discuss the plan and its recommendations as sustainable approaches to community revitalization.

Many artists working in the public realm have turned their attentions to preservation of natural resources and providing aesthetically meaningful and sustainable solutions to city infrastructure problems. Art Spaces brought three internationally known artists to engage in the plan. Numerous opportunities engaged stakeholders in the riverfront and members of the community. The public will also be included in the design phase, expected to begin this fall or spring of 2015.

The river was once a focal point, a refuge and an asset to Terre Haute. Like many cities building industry in the 1900's we turned our backs on it. Turn to the River offers strategies to reconnect in meaningful and sustainable ways ultimately creating better stewards of the river for the future. This is not a blueprint but an inspiring document created by community members.