Indiana School of Architecture Principal Blames Poor City Planning for Climate Change

An aerial view of the proposed master plan for the revitalization of the Farmers Market neighborhood in South Bend, Indiana.

Professor Marianne Cusato of the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, who leads revitalization efforts for Indiana’s South Bend Farmers Market neighborhood, has identified careless urbanism as the ‘disease’ responsible for change climate, calling for a change in the discipline.

Recently appointed Director of the Housing and Community Regeneration Initiative led by the School of Architecture, Cusato said:

“Discussion of climate change usually focuses only on solutions that treat the symptoms, not the disease. Electric vehicles, solar panels, etc. are all ways to reduce the amount of energy we consume. But the disease is not a gas-guzzling car, it is the road. It is the settlement model that requires someone to drive to meet all of their daily needs because there are no businesses within walking distance of their home or because the streets are unsafe. for pedestrians. Disease is the outdated, failing on-ramp infrastructure that divides communities and leaves vacant land where thriving businesses once stood.

Working with school dean Stefanos Polyzoides, Cusato led charrettes with participation from local South Bend business owners, community leaders, architectural professionals and Notre Dame students to develop a plan reconstruction of the Farmers Market district.

This small neighborhood is plagued by a towering cluster of cloverleaf interchanges, remnants of the city’s urban renewal project of the 1960s. Designed to provide quick access to downtown for workers, these ramps leading to Eddy Street are more suitable for a freeway. They removed residents’ access to the river and squeezed out local businesses.

Cusato and the Dean’s efforts so far have resulted in the City of South Bend securing a $2.4 million federal infrastructure grant to complete research and planning for the removal of cloverleaf interchanges. .