People’s Planning Academy

Planning involves the complex intersection of many different aspects of a community: land use, infrastructure, environmental issues, existing resident desires, the supply and demand for certain types of real estate, and more. It also has implications that are not always easy to see: impacts on human and environmental health, a community’s tax base and ability to provide high-quality public services, the ability of a place to evolve and retain its value, and the ability of our residents to access housing, jobs, education, and health care.

The People’s Planning Academy is a free training program consisting of 6 workshops that will provide participants with basic knowledge about city planning and the foundational goals that came from the Plan 2020 Bicentennial Agenda – to make Indianapolis healthier, more resilient, more inclusive, and more competitive. Participants will learn how planning can help us to achieve these goals. The Academy will also train participants on how to use the Land Use Pattern Book, which is the written component of the Marion County Land Use Plan. It outlines land use types and the conditions used to determine where different land uses are appropriate. Participants who complete the People’s Planning Academy will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with city staff as we develop the Land Use Map component of the plan. The program is open to all residents, property owners, or business owners in Marion County, and is a required education component for anyone wishing to participate in the in-person Land Use Plan mapping workshops.  (Note that while these in-person Land Use Plan workshops will only be open to Academy participants, there will be an online alternative for those who do not participate in the Academy but still wish to provide comments on proposed maps.)

As of Thursday, September 14, registration for both tracks of the People’s Planning Academy is completely full!  BUT, we are working on alternative participation methods so that everyone wishing to participate in the Academy can.  Please continue to choose the track you desire and sign up for the wait list.  We’ll notify you when we have an alternative setup!  Thank you for your overwhelming interest and support in the People’s Planning Academy!


Participants have the choice of two tracks – 6 Thursday evenings or 3 longer Saturday morning sessions. The table below outlines the topics schedule.

Topic Thursday
Planning 101 10/5 10/14
Make Indy Healthy 10/12
Make Indy More Resilient 10/19 10/28
Make Indy More Inclusive 10/26
Make Indy More Competitive 11/2 11/11
Land Use Pattern Book Training 11/9


All sessions will take place at the Sol Center (home of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center) at 708 E. Michigan Street, although for GPS navigation purposes it’s best to use 501 Spring Street as the address.  IndyGo bus routes 3, 11, and 21 all pass within a block of the Sol Center, and there is a Blue Indy station two blocks to the north and south of Michigan Street along College Avenue.  Bike racks are also available.

Format & Registration

Each topic, with the exception of Planning 101 and the Land Use Pattern Book Training will have 3 speakers and one workshop-style activity where participants will be challenged to apply their new knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to register?
Yes, registration is required as there are limited seats available for each session.

What happens if seats are sold out?
If that happens, you’ll still be able to register for a wait-list, and we’ll be in touch about alternative ways to participate.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Registration is required, but you do not need to bring an actual ticket.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
There is parking, bike racks, IndyGo bus routes, and BlueIndy car share stations at or near the location.  See the map to the left.

What can I bring into the event?
You can bring anything you’d like to take notes with, including tablet or laptop computers (WIFI is available). If you’re attending a Thursday evening class, you’re also welcome to bring a brown-bag dinner.

Can I bring my children?
Yes! You’re welcome to sign up your older kids as participants in the Academy. For younger children, we are working on free, on-site childcare. If you want to take advantage of childcare, please indicate this need on the registration form.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Contact Jane Hughes, Community Engagement Specialist with the Department of Metropolitan Development, at [email protected] or 317-327-5150.