Area Four

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Similar to Area 3, Area 4 is close to Heekin Park where various activities could take place such as sports events, community picnics, holiday festivals, and other events (See Figure 1). While walking through the area, several blocks of well-maintained, occupied homes can be seen. The majority of the roads has been recently paved for smooth vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow. A few bus routes go through this area to provide an alternative transportation option for residents. There are various empty lots that appears to be usable for any future development. The area also has plenty of alleyways to provide an alternative circulation method for cars and/or pedestrians.

Figure 1 - Basketball court at Heekin Park. Image: Drew Pflaumer.

Figure 1 – Basketball court at Heekin Park. Photo: Drew Pflaumer.

Weaknesses

Despite Area 4 containing potential vacant lots for future development, there are some lots that have not been maintained. Some of these lots contain trash and other hazardous materials, along with overgrown grass. In addition to vacant lots, there are abandoned homes around the area with cracked window glass and are continuously deteriorating. Some of the occupied homes in the area have poor maintenance as their exteriors need to be repaired and revitalized. Although most roads are paved, some are paved above sidewalk curbs (See Figure 2). Along these roads can be stray dogs that roam around the area and the neighborhood as a whole. Due to the high amount of vacant lots, some of the homes are surrounded by emptiness, especially the homes on the far east side of the area near the industrial spots. This makes some parts of the area uninviting for residents and visitors and the presence of large, intimidating dogs behind chain linked fences of certain homes may disturb nearby pedestrians. The area has no bike lanes or pathways to accommodate bicyclists. There is a lack of sidewalks for pedestrians on the east side and plenty of trash can be seen along existing sidewalks and tree lawns. Many of the sidewalks are in poor condition and have overgrown grass. Some of the tree lawns are damaged by cars parked on the streets. There are a few tree stumps that can be chopped down in order to prevent them from lifting paved surfaces or sidewalks by roots.

Figure 2 - A road in Industry paved above the sidewalk curb. Image: Drew Pflaumer.

Figure 2 – A road in Industry paved above the sidewalk curb. Photo: Drew Pflaumer.

Opportunities

Several vacant lots in Area four can be developed for new homes, businesses, or community gardens. Sidewalks can be widened to improve the mobility of pedestrians and bicyclists. Bike lanes could also be added to the streets to further separate traffic between pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles. More street trees can be added to beautify the area, make it pedestrian-friendly, and complement Heekin Park in appearance. A neighborhood entrance can be added on the south side of the area to make Industry a welcoming and attractive place to live or visit. More younger residents can be recruited to the area as more homes can become more affordable and the area can appear vibrant and safe for people to enter. Also, more local businesses can come into the area as there are plenty of possible spaces for development (See Figure 3).

Figure 3 - A local business and vacant building along Memorial Street. Image: Drew Pflaumer.

Figure 3 – A local business and vacant building along Memorial Street. Photo: Drew Pflaumer.

Threats

Like the other areas of Industry, Area 4 may be perceived by outsiders as unsafe due to abandoned homes, vacant lots, sidewalks in poor condition, a lack of sidewalks, and stray dogs. Industry as a whole may experience population decline as residents, especially young adults, may gradually move out over time to other places that have better job opportunities and living options. More homes may suffer from foreclosure overtime, which would further contribute to the decline in population (See Figure 4). The negative perception of the entire south side of Muncie may contribute to the neighborhood’s poor image. The division from the railroad creates a barrier between downtown and neighborhood to the south, which makes the southern areas seem neglected and isolated from the rest of the city. High crime rates also contribute to the neighborhood’s image, along with the appearance of vandalism throughout the neighborhood.

Figure 4 - An abandoned home in Industry neighborhood. Photo: Drew Pflaumer.

Figure 4 – An abandoned home in Industry. Photo: Drew Pflaumer.

Existing Conditions
Figure 5 - Area 4 Existing Conditions.

Figure 5 – Area 4 Existing Conditions.

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