South Bend, IN
South Bend, the quintessential rough-built city outside of Chicago, was originally home to the Studebaker Manufacturing company. The mid-sized industrial city took a massive fall in the 1960s when the mill closed, leaving the population stagnant for 50 years.
The city hired Urban3 to measure the relationship between infrastructure and its effect on the economy based on population growth. In order for South Bend to remain fiscally healthy at its current growth rate, every acre must make enough profit in taxes to make up for the amount of pipes requiring maintenance and replacement. Urban3 reevaluated the City’s existing policies designed to help citizens who could not afford their property taxes. The tax relief policies were having an unintended effect: the program only benefited property owners, and was not lowering taxes for low income renters who needed help the most.
Urban3 also addressed the issue of combined sewer overflows, recommending new methods to the Department of Innovation to manage stormwater. Our work helped both staff and elected officials understand the importance of building economically productive development for the City’s future.
Director of Planning- City of South Bend