Monon Boulevard & Midtown Plaza

Carmel, Indiana

An expansion and transformation of a shared-use pathway into a multi-modal boulevard that forms an organizing framework and connective tissue for a new urban fabric of mixed use development, public spaces, and amenities.

The City of Carmel, Indiana – consistently ranked as one the top cities in the U.S. in which to live – has embarked upon a project to re-imagine and redesign a section of the city’s Monon Greenway as an urban trail corridor that will link the city’s premiere arts and cultural destinations, enhance the community’s connectivity and walkability, catalyze economic development opportunities, and provide a transformational recreational amenity.

The project involves a widening and expansion of the existing Monon Greenway from a 12 ft. wide asphalt path to a new 140 ft. wide multi-modal boulevard. The linear park includes dedicated lanes for pedestrians and bicycles, gathering spaces, plazas, and amenity zones, lighting, trees, green infrastructure, activated sidewalks, traffic-calmed roadways, and on street parking. A range of amenities have been integrated within the expanded corridor to accommodate trail users and provide a distinctive experience, including neighborhood green spaces, arts plazas, community tables and benches, food kiosks, shade structures, a spray plaza, bocce ball courts, public art, and outdoor café spaces.

The Monon Boulevard serves a rapidly growing Midtown redevelopment area where the city has partnered with private developers to create a new, vibrant mixed-use corridor to include over $200 million in new office, restaurant, retail and residential development in what was once the city’s primary industrial area.

This project demonstrates how a well-designed, amenity-rich, highly programmed linear park space can attract significant reinvestment that, together, enhances and expands urban life and activity. It also demonstrates that an urban transportation corridor can move beyond its simple utilitarian function and become a signature destination in and of itself – an organizing spine for innovative placemaking, multimodal connectivity, and distinctive experiences.

REA led a multidisciplinary team of designers, engineers, and artists and oversaw construction for the $23 million project. In addition to the design and detailing of the multi-modal boulevard, public spaces, and amenities, REA’s work includes the preparation of detailed cost analyses, coordination with adjacent private developments and ongoing public infrastructure projects, and integration of a low impact stormwater management approach.

Recognition

2020 Monumental Award Finalist for Landscape Architecture, Public Art, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Development

2019 Congress for New Urbanism Charter Award

2019 AIM Indiana Placemaking Award

Photography

Hadley Fruits, Daniel Showalter