A placemaking and tactical urbanism program of the nonprofit Big Car Collaborative, Spark works across Indiana and beyond. In this program, the Big Car team, led by associate director Elizabeth Nash, collaborates with communities who invite us to work with them to test and implement lighter, quicker, cheaper approaches for people-focused public places and streets. Our work focuses on programming public places, not expensive design or build of public spaces that often then sit unused.
We work to foster connectivity, community, culture, and creativity through engagement-based partnerships led by artists, planners, and active citizens. We work to support livable streets, blocks, and neighborhoods in ways that benefit everyone. Recent projects and partnerships throughout the city include Lockerbie pop-up public place, the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Spark City Market, and Lugar Plaza. In addition to our work in Indianapolis, we’ve teamed up with local leaders and artists in Indiana communities like Fort Wayne, Lafayette/West Lafayette, Shelbyville, and Richmond in the past. We have found that artist-led and community-driven placemaking as we approach it – free, inclusive, flexible, adaptable, site-specific, empathetic, human-scale – is very effective in communities of all sizes and with people of all backgrounds.
This video, which explores the Power of 10 as expressed by Project for Public Spaces, offers examples of the kind of work we do through Spark Placemaking: