The Southern Indiana Regional Cities Initiative has hired Kansas City-based BNIM to help develop a "World-Class Communities" plan for the region. Officials say the urban planning firm will develop a regional vision and help a task force prepare a proposal to the state.

February 17, 2015

News Release

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – One Southern Indiana (1si) announced today that the taskforce for the Southern Indiana Regional Cities Initiative (SIRCI) has chosen BNIM as the Indiana Economic Development Corporation recommended urban planning firm to help the taskforce develop a complete "World-Class Communities" plan for this region. BNIM, the 2011 National Architecture Firm Award Winner, is located in Kansas City, MO and has worked on similar projects in Kansas City, Mo., Branson, Mo. and Springfield Mass.

In December of last year, the task force requested proposals from seven state-approved firms selected for their experience working with counties which exist within a larger metropolitan area on a state border. Four proposals were submitted and scored and the top three were interviewed.

“BNIM was overwhelmingly the choice of the three firms interviewed,” said Jill S. Saegesser, Executive Director of River Hills EDD & RPC and task force member. “All the firms were talented but BNIM was just the best fit for our community, its assets and its challenges.”

The next step calls for the task force to work with BNIM to develop a regional vision, identify strategic initiatives and help the task force prepare its proposal to the state, pending the general assembly approves the Regional Cities Initiative. Online conversations, regional workshops and public forums to solicit suggestions will all be used to inspire interest and to ensure that a variety of projects that will benefit all the citizens of Floyd and Clark Counties, as well as the contiguous counties, are chosen.

“Planning for the next generation requires a multi-disciplinary approach to creating visions that are informed by broad, inspired experiences. BNIM and our local partners are proud that we have been chosen to help Southern Indiana to develop a long-term, coherent vision for the future of the region” said Vincent P. Gauthier, director of planning and associate principal for BNIM. “We look forward to meeting with stakeholders and the public at large to gather input on individual initiatives for consideration in the final strategy. ”

“The Paul Ogle Foundation is proud to support the Southern Indiana Regional Cities Initiative. The collaboration of our public officials, municipal governments, private business leaders, community organizers and educators is the key to the success of this project,” said Ken Lanum, President and CEO of the foundation. “Regardless of the possibility of state recognition, the plan created by the task force will be a tool that we can use to guide our endeavors as one community over the next ten years, and grow our region for the next several decades.”

Announcements of upcoming public forums and news of developments of the project can be found on the One Southern Indiana website at: www.1si.org For more information on BNIM: www.bnim.com

About One Southern Indiana:

One Southern Indiana (1si) was formed in July of 2006 from the Economic Development organization serving Clark and Floyd counties and the Chamber of Commerce. 1si’s mission is to provide the connections, resources and services that help businesses innovate and thrive in the Southern Indiana / Louisville metro area.

Since its inception, the organization has evolved to include a three prong approach to serve its members and investors. Business Resources, as the chamber side of the organization, encompasses membership, signature events and programs which support and encourage business growth; Economic Development works to grow the regional economy through the attraction of new commerce and assists with retention and expansion of existing businesses; Advocacy supports businesses at the government level by engaging in the initiatives to preserve, protect and promote a business friendly environment free of obstacles to growth and development of commerce. More information on One Southern Indiana is available at: www.1si.org

Source: One Southern Indiana