Glossary

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501(c)(3)

Section 501 (c)(3) is the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of nonprofit organizations, specifically those that are considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations. It is regulated and administered by the US Department of Treasury through the Internal Revenue Service.

A

Abandoned

Something that has been deserted, cast off, or forgotten.

Accessibility

The degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be viewed as the “ability to access” and benefit from some system or entity.

Aesthetic

Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.

Affordable housing

Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income.

Allocate

Distribute (resources or duties) for a particular purpose.

Amendment

A change or addition to an existing document.

Amenity

A desirable or useful feature or facility of a building or place. Some examples are water fountains, street furniture, bike racks, and garbage cans.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability.

Analysis

Detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation.

B

Ballot

A process of voting, in writing and typically private.

Beautification

The process of making visual improvement to a place. With regard to a town, city or to an urban area, this involves planting trees, shrubbery, and other greenery, along with adding decorative or historic-style street lights and other lighting, sidewalk repair, façade restoration, and replacing broken pavement, often with brick or other natural materials.

Betterment

The act or process of improving something.

Biodiversity

The biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals.

Bio-swale

Landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. They consist of a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than six percent) and filled with vegetation, compost and/or riprap.

Blight

Urban blight refers to the deterioration and decay of buildings and older areas of large cities, due to neglect, crime, or lack of economic support.

Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA)

A governmental body that hears petitions to allow specific cases to have exceptions to their set zoning as well as proposals and disputes on lands with the intention of fulfilling the zoning ordinance.

Brownfield

A former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.

Buffer

To cushion, shield, or protect.

C

Case study

An example that is studied to learn and understand certain techniques and topics to utilize and improve upon.

Catalyst

Something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces without itself being affected. A person or thing that precipitates an event of change.

Chamber of Commerce

A governmental body that works with businesses to promote and encourage the economic success of a city. The local body is the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.

Charrette

A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for development. It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the designers. It allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan.

Code of ethics

A document or agreement that describes what is expected and required of each party.

Commercial core

The center of a commercial district.

Community artwork

A way of creating art in which professional artists collaborate more or less intensively with people who don’t normally actively engage in the arts.

Community center

A building where many community events are held and can serve as a neighborhood hub.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

The Community Development Block Grant program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.

Community Development Corporation (CDC)

A community development corporation is a not-for-profit organization incorporated to provide programs, offer services and engage in other activities that promote and support community development.

Community garden

A single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people.

Complete Streets

Streets designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.

Connectivity

The extent to which urban forms permit (or restrict) movement of people or vehicles between two or more areas.

Cooperative

Also known as a “co-op,” a group of people or businesses that join together for their mutual benefit.

Corporate sponsorship

The financial backing of a public interest group, which helps to promote a project through the corporation’s networks and public image.

D

Delaware-Muncie Board of Zoning Appeals

The Board of Zoning Appeals for Delaware County.

Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission Office

The plan commission office for Delaware County.

Demographics

Statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it.

Density

The people per area, generally the number of people per square mile, and is enforceable through zoning codes.

Dilapidated

Decayed, deteriorated, or fallen into partial ruin especially through neglect or misuse.

Diversify

Make or become more diverse or varied.

E

Economic development

The sustained, concentrated actions of policy makers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. Economic development can also be referred to as the quantitative and qualitative changes in the economy.

Egress

A path or opening for going out; an exit.

Endowment

An income or form of property given or donated to someone.

Energy cost

The amount of money spent on electricity and HVAC per month for a particular housing unit.

Entrepreneur

A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

F

Façade

The face of a building, especially the principal front that looks onto a street or open space.

Feasible

Possible to do easily or conveniently.

Flood zones

Geographic areas that the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These zones are depicted on a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.

Food desert

A geographic area where affordable and nutritious food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to transportation.

Foreclosure

The legal process where a lender forces a borrower to sell his or her property because the borrower did not pay back his or her loans.

G

Gateway

A large sign leading into a neighborhood or district along a primary path of travel such as a road or pedestrian trail. A gateway signifies to people that they have entered a new area. Also, a gateway contributes to the sense of identity in a neighborhood or district.

Geology

The science that deals with the earth’s physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it.

Grant

An award, usually from the government or a foundation, of financial aid to qualified applicants who intend to carry out a public purpose. The recipient of the grant does not need to pay back the money he or she received.

Green infrastructure

Community infrastructure, such as roadways, pathways, or landscape elements that are strategically planned and designed to protect the environment and encourage sustainability. Green infrastructure provides stormwater management, flood mitigation, air quality management, and more.

Greenspace

An area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment.

H

High-density residential

Housing designed to hold significantly more people than is typical for that much land in that region. Typically a local definition can be found in the zoning laws.

Historic preservation

The act of preserving and improving historic structures to retain a place’s character.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

The Department of Housing and Urban Development who regulates federal grants for causes associated with the built environment.

Human services

Meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations

Hydrogeology

The branch of geology concerned with water occurring underground or on the surface of the earth.

Hydrology

The branch of science concerned with the properties of the earth’s water, especially its movement in relation to land.

I

Identity

The cluster of ideas and impressions that define a specific place. Identity of a place includes the meaning and significance of that place to its residents. It also includes the local character that makes a place unique.

Industry

Economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories.

Infill

Adding further construction to an urbanized area. Infill involves placing new structures or amenities in empty, unused lots. An example would include building a new home on an empty lot in a residential area.

Infrastructure

The system of public works and utilities of an area that aid the everyday function of citizens. Examples of public infrastructure include roads, bridges, sidewalks, water supply, and sewers.

Ingress

A means or place of entering.

Initiative

A specific recommendation listed in the iNAP to improve a certain aspect or implement a certain program.

Investor

A person or group of people who finance a cause, organization or project.

L

Land bank

A public authority created to hold, manage, and develop abandoned or tax-foreclosed property. In a neighborhood with many vacant homes and lots, a land bank is a good tool to help transform these lots into something useful for the neighborhood.

Land use

The current function of a particular parcel of land. Examples of land use include commercial, residential, institutional, or industrial use. Land use and zoning differ in that zoning refers to the lawful use of a parcel of land. The land use of a parcel may be different from its zoning.

Landlord

A person who owns a house, apartment, etc., and rents it to other people (or tenants).

Logo

A graphic symbol or emblem used by an organization for documents, signage, and other promotional materials.

Low-density residential

Areas are residential developments or land suitable for such developments with overall densities up to 1 dwelling unit per acre depending on the character and density of surrounding development, physical attributes of the property, buffers, the number of dwellings in the proposed development, and the degree to which the development is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

Low-income

Of or relating to individuals or households supported by an income that is below average.

M

Manufactured homes

Homes that are constructed almost entirely in a factory. They can come in many different sizes and shapes, including mobile and trailer homes. Local building codes do not apply to manufactured homes; instead, they are built according to specialized guidelines (Federal HUD regulations in the United States) for manufactured housing. Manufactured homes are not permitted in some communities.

Materials bank

A reserve that collects various materials salvaged from razed historic structures to be reused on other projects.

Microclimate

The climate of a very small or restricted area, especially when this differs from the climate of the surrounding area.

Mitigate

Make less severe, serious, or painful.

Metropolitan

Of, relating to, or denoting an urban center, often inclusive of its surrounding areas.

Mortgage

The charging of real (or personal) property by a debtor to a creditor as security for a debt (especially one incurred by the purchase of the property), on the condition that it shall be returned on payment of the debt within a certain period.

Multi-unit home

A single structure that contains multiple living units.

Muncie Action Plan (MAP)

A strategic plan that includes long-term goals and measurable action plans to improve the City of Muncie as a whole. It brings together multiple partners to ensure an integrated approach to improvement and development.

Muncie Housing Authority (MHA)

The body that manages Muncie’s low-income public housing. They contribute and have access to funds for building or remodeling affordable housing.

Muncie Sanitary District (MSD)

A unit of government created under Indiana State law by the action of an ordinance of the City of Muncie. It performs upkeep on sanitary sewers and storm sewers in the District as a whole while the different departments perform other duties such as trash collection and recycling.

Municipal bonds

Financial notes issued by the city of Muncie for a specific project or program that do not need to be paid back.

N

Native plants and wildlife

The plants and wildlife that are found locally or within the state and that are supported by the natural communities in the area. Native plants are wildlife help preserve natural systems and reduce the risk of invasive species taking over and disrupting the important natural functions of an area.

Neighborhood identity

The distinct character of an area that is recognizable from an outside perspective. This can be created by utilizing a vision statement, logo and tagline. Neighborhood identity is also the result of a community’s shared values being evident in the activities and growth of its residents and physical infrastructure.

Nonprofit organization

An organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals rather than distributing them as profit or dividends.

O

Open Space

Any open piece of land that is undeveloped (has no buildings or other built structures) and is accessible to the public. Open space can also include Green space.

P

Pedestrian access

The ability for people and residents to gain safe and easy access to various places within the city, town, or neighborhood when traveling outside of a car.

Permeable paver

A type of green infrastructure used for roadways, sidewalks, pathways, and parking lots. Permeable pavement is a multi-layered surface which allows water and air to move through the paving material to the soil below. This process reduces storm water run-off and filters the water.

Plan commission office

A governmental body that creates and enforces zoning laws.

Pocket park

A pocket park is a small park accessible to the general public. Pocket parks are frequently created on a single vacant building lot or on small, irregular pieces of land.

Pollutant

Any substance, chemical, or waste product that can harm people, the environment, or natural resources.

Post-industrial

Of or relating to an economy that no longer relies on heavy industry.

Public domain

The state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright.

Q

Quality of life

The general well-being of residents often determined by living conditions, amenities, and cultural attractions nearby.

R

Racketeering

Refers to criminal activity that is performed to benefit an organization such as a crime syndicate. Examples of racketeering activity include extortion, money laundering, loan sharking, obstruction of justice and bribery.

Rain barrel

A system that collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams.

Rain garden

A planted depression in the earth that allows for rainwater runoff from urban areas, such as parking lots, to soak into the earth, instead of burdening the local sewage system.

Rehabilitation

The act of restoring something to its original state, like the rehabilitation of the forest that had once been cleared for use as an amusement park.

Restoration

The action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.

Revitalization

The process of repairing or restoring something to its original status, or improving it to meet the ever-changing needs of the people who use it.

Right-of-way

The strip of land over which facilities such as streets, railroads, or power lines are built.

S

Self-sufficient

Needing no outside help in satisfying one’s basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food.

Signage

Signs collectively, especially commercial or public display signs.

Slumlord

A landlord whose properties are not well-maintained.

Stakeholder

A person or organization that holds a stake in the interest of the area.

Street signs

The signs found along the road that include government issued signage like ‘Stop, School, and Speed Limit’ signs, as well as indicating road names and other directions.

Stormwater management

Administering and maintaining surface water that is in abnormal quantities resulting from heavy falls of rain or snow.

Stormwater run-off

Water from rain or melting snow that “runs off” across the land instead of seeping into the ground. Generally speaking, stormwater is rain (also melting snow and ice) that washes off driveways, parking lots, roads, yards, rooftops, and other hard surfaces.

Streetscape

A term used to describe the natural and built fabric of the street, and defined as the design quality of the street and its visual effect, particularly how the paved area is laid out and treated.

Subcommittee

A group of people who are simultaneously a part of a committee of an organization who also work independently from it to achieve a particular goal. The subcommittee is in charge of managing a specific task or tasks and must remain in touch with the overall organization for cohesion and input.

Suitability

Having properties or characteristics that are right for a specific purpose. A suitability analysis determines areas or elements that are most acceptable for a particular project or purpose.

Sustainable

Capable of continuing at a steady level in perpetuity without depleting natural resources or causing significant environmental harm. Building design, consumption, and the use of natural resources all can be done in sustainable ways.

Surveying

Examine and record the area and features of (an area of land) so as to construct a map, plan, or description.

Sweat equity

An interest or increased value in a property earned from labor toward upkeep or restoration.

T

Tagline

A phrase that helps people identify with a certain individual, group or product. A tagline for a neighborhood can exhibit its values and attract new neighbors with similar priorities.

Task force

A unit or group that focuses on a specific goal, similar to a committee.

Tax abatement

A reduction in the level of taxation faced by an individual or company. Examples of an abatement include a tax decrease, a reduction in penalties or a rebate.

Tax deduction

A reduction of the income subject to tax, for various items, especially expenses incurred to produce income.

Tax exemption

Generally refers to removal from taxation of a particular item or class rather than a reduction of taxable items by way of deduction of other items (i.e., a deduction).

Tax Increment Finance (TIF)

A public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects in many countries, including the United States. Similar or related value capture strategies are used around the world.

Tax liability

The total amount of tax that an entity is legally obligated to pay to an authority as the result of the occurrence of a taxable event. Tax liability can be calculated by applying the appropriate tax rate to the taxable event’s tax base.

Tax sale

Occurs when a taxing authority or the court sells a property to recover property taxes that are long overdue. The original owner of the property can “redeem” or regain ownership of his or her property by paying back the taxes and any applicable legal fees within a certain time period.

Tenant

A person who rents or leases a house from a landlord.

Thoroughfare

A road or path forming a route between two places or a main road in a town.

Topography

The arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area.

Toter

A container for temporarily storing garbage and other wastes.

Traffic calming

A method intended to reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety through pedestrian crossings, street trees, narrower roads, on-street parking, and other techniques.

Transitional housing

A facility whose primary purpose is to provide temporary housing and supportive services to the homeless in general or to a specific population of the homeless for no more than sixty days.

Tree lawn

The grassy area between the sidewalk and the street. Tree lawns vary in width and usually have trees.

U

Utilities

Services provided by companies to the public, such as water, electricity, natural gas, and sewage.

V

Validate

Check or prove the validity or accuracy of (something).

Vision statement

A statement and framework guiding the future of an organization. This helps people who are unfamiliar with the organization to understand what it stands for and helps direct individuals within an organization towards strategies that are worthwhile and within their priorities.

W

Walkability

A measure of how friendly an area is to walking. For example, the distance from point to point as well as sidewalk connectivity.

Wayfinding

How people orient themselves in the built environment and navigate from place to place. Neighborhood signage can make wayfinding easier.

Wetland

Land consisting of marshes or swamps; saturated land.

Z

Zoning

The legally-permitted use of a parcel of land, as determined by the local zoning ordinance. The zoning of a land parcel may differ from its actual land use.

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