The Progression Matrix: Our simplification of Evansville from 2000-2010
Look around this city. What you see is Evansville. Ten years ago, it was a different place. A mix of progress and preservation led to this moment. Some bold, new moves worked while others haven’t. A few recurring issues demand progress where change has been lacking for years. We didn’t fit a whole decade’s worth of progress in here. How could we? To look ahead, we should examine how Evansville got where it is today through the lens of the last 10 years.
Predicting the Future: Where will the next decade take us? 2010-2020
In the 10 years since the first issue of Evansville Living arrived on newsstands and in mailboxes, we’ve worked hard to present stories that shape our community. In our 61st issue, we talk to entrepreneurs, politicians, educators, and others about their vision for Evansville in 2020.
Changes in the city you’ll see
We are building a foundation of success there, of rejuvenating that entire area (Front Door Pride area near Downtown). Right now we are building some great quality housing but targeting low- and moderate-income individuals and families. We’ll see a complete transformation of that neighborhood.
INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation) has plans for a new cloverleaf at U.S. Highway 41 and the Lloyd Expressway. Over the next several years, we’ll see construction work take place there. It eliminates two stoplights. That will make it easier to make it across the city.
A New Way to Ride Your Bike
“You’ll continue to see an emphasis in making sure we’re building a transportation system that accommodates not just vehicles but also bicyclists and pedestrians,” says Weinzapfel. As one example, he points to scheduled construction on Oak Hill Road to create two wide lanes with room for bicyclists and vehicles along with a middle lane dedicated to turns (a la the new Lincoln Avenue).
A New Route North
The Indiana Department of Transportation currently has a plan to complete Interstate 69 from Evansville to Crane, Ind. (nearly 85 miles southwest of Indianapolis). The Hoosier state government still needs to decide on funding for the construction of the remaining portion. “I hope the state doesn’t turn its back on I-69 or Southwest Indiana,” says Weinzapfel. Will we drive I-69 all the way to Indianapolis in 2020? Weinzapfel says, “I think there’s a good chance we will.”
— Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel (Continued on Page 2)
What We Will Consider Historic Homes
Things that were built in the ’50s and ’60s that have sprawling ranch appeal. I love things from the mid-20th century. I’d hate to see some of those buildings being lost.
Historians Will Look Back at the Last 10 Years and See…
Progress and growth. I hope in the ways of architecture, culture, and business development that this next decade sees good things for the city.
Where You’ll Want to Live
This might be the next corridor out of Downtown (new housing along Washington Avenue). There are a lot of preservationists in that area.
— Leslie Townsend, director of Historic Southern Indiana
The 2010 Census hasn’t produced any numbers yet — watch for your 10-question form in the mail this March — but the last two surveys show that by 2020, Evansville may be smaller. In 2000, our population was 121,582. In 2008, a survey between official census counts found the population had declined to 116,309. (That’s 10,000 fewer people than in 1990.)
For demographic data, Sandra Appler, Indiana senior government partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, points to the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Many of the organization’s projections are statewide, but “everything indicates Evansville is trending as the state is trending,” Appler says. Of course, trends change, but these IBRC projections offer a snapshot of how our community may look in the future.
– The diversity of Hoosiers will increase, and the fastest growing category is “two or more races,” projected to grow 135 percent by 2030.
– Indiana’s Hispanic population will double in the next 20 or 25 years. (In 2030, the Hispanic community will make up 23 percent of the United States’ population, compared to 8 percent in Indiana.)
– By 2040, the number of Hoosiers older than 65 will increase by 90 percent. Due to aging, a key workforce demographic — the number of people between ages 25 and 54 — will decline.
What Your Government Will Look Like
“If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t necessarily bet the farm on consolidation happening by 2020,” says Robert Dion, an associate professor of political science at the University of Evansville. In the early 1970s, Mayor Russell Lloyd Sr. proposed a merger plan called VandiGov. County-wide voters said no. In 1990, a citizens’ committee drafted a merger plan that was tabled by Mayor Frank McDonald and county commissioners. And in 2006, another plan drafted by a citizens’ committee was held up in the state legislature.
About that Historic Presidential Election Indiana Took Part In…
2020 will be a presidential election year, but don’t expect Evansvillians’ opinions to matter much for presidential nominations again, says Dion: “It was an incredibly unusual thing to have a nomination contest last all the way to May. It is a virtual certainty that all the hoopla of 2008 will be just a dim memory because Evansville is going to go back to being largely ignored by the national campaigns.”
Whom to Watch For Locally
“There’s been evidence of a new crowd of Democrats, who are somewhat different from their predecessors,” says Dion. One is Wendy Bredhold, a Democrat who is on record saying Barack Obama’s close presidential campaign inspired her venture into local politics as a city council member. For the Republican party, watch for the 30-something Nicholas Hermann, chairman of Vanderburgh County GOP.
Your Attitude Toward Politics
“This still will be a more or less conservative part of the world. Democrats from this part of the state — by and large — tend to be more conservative than the average Democrat,” says Dion. (Continued on Page 3)[pagebreak]
How Doctors Will Care for You
The doctor will no longer see you now … in his office because advancements in telehealth are near, says Ann White, the assistant dean for nursing at the University of Southern Indiana. This is a big boost for critically ill patients. The Hadi Shrine, fraternity brothers who support health efforts for sick children, purchased a camera system for USI so university faculty could transmit health problems of ill children to doctors in larger cities. “Instead of making patients drive two hours, we’ll have a camera system which can just transmit your image to the doctor’s office,” says White. The camera technology today still is fairly superficial. (Doctors can look at a burned hand, for example.) But, in 10 years, looking inside the body and transmitting images will be possible.
How You Will Care for You
The health care about to boom: preventive health. “The only way we can be efficient in health care is to prevent the illness from happening in the first place,” White says. “That’s going to be a huge cultural shift.” Evansvillians — and, let’s face it, Americans in general — need to think about healthier eating options and lifestyle habits such as not smoking. “It’s going to start when they’re young,” White says. “That’s where we’ll make an impact.”
How Medicine Will Care for You
That medicine you take is about to get better. “Medications are going to target the areas that need to be targeted,” White says. Currently, medicines don’t do that. Hence, side effects.
Since 2000, social media has exploded, says Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams. In the next decade, law enforcement officials see social technological advancements as a way to boost crime awareness in the community, which leads to crime prevention. Williams predicts these tools will be a two-way method of communication between citizens and officers. For example, when deputies recovered a stolen digital camera, they posted a few of the camera’s photos on the sheriff’s Facebook page and asked if anyone knew the pictures’ subjects. Soon, Williams had matches and returned the stolen goods. “We are only as effective as the community allows us to be,” he says.
After apprehension, look for GPS monitoring systems to ease the population rates in jails, the sheriff says. With superior electronic systems, tracking convicted criminals outside of the confines of jails, Williams says, is a smart option.
How Our Nonprofits Will Survive and Serve
In 10 years, as we recover from this economic slump, people will begin to work together differently to address community needs. There may be fewer nonprofits — or nonprofits working together in various ways. That may be combining services, sharing staff, looking at how they can combine backroom operations, or making resources stretch further.
It’s more and more difficult for (nonprofits) to survive. Just like any other business, you either find new ways or reinvent yourself, or you may not be able to continue as sources of revenue dry up. I think that nonprofits are creative and they truly believe in serving the community, or they wouldn’t be in the business they’re in.
I think we’re going to continue, in the next 10 years, to work to address poverty and education in our community. … (They are) the root of a lot of our social issues.
— Carol Braden-Clarke, president of United Way of Southwestern Indiana (Continued on Page 4)
What Will Be Changing in Higher Education
The greatest changes that are going to happen for higher education — and that’s for the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana, or Ivy Tech — will not come from the institutions themselves but from societal changes. There is coming to be what there never has been in the past: a profound understanding within our society as a whole of the great importance of all aspects of education — from kindergarten through advanced graduate study — and what it means to the lives of everyone, including those who are not directly benefiting from having the high education themselves.
Those countries that have a highly educated population are going to be better off than in areas where that is not the case. We are seeing — especially in developing countries — efforts to improve their postures in those areas. There’s going to be much more competition with the United States. China has committed itself to having within the next 20 years four universities that rank within the top 10 worldwide. It is beginning to dawn on the American government system and the American public that we must compete in that regard. The primacy of American higher education is not going to be maintained without some very real effort and probably some expenditure. I believe that conscience is coming.
We are going to see the needs at a higher and higher portion move to baccalaureate study. That will cause an elevation not only in the numbers but in the importance of the advanced degrees as well.
— H. Ray Hoops, former president of the University of Southern Indiana
How and What Children Will Learn
Forget the four walls of a classroom. Businesses are going global every day, and students need to follow, says Vince Bertram, superintendent of the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. “I see in the future a breaking down of the traditional educational model,” he says, and technology makes this possible — “Students can get education any time, anywhere.”
The best example is Skype, an Internet calling service which allows free videoconferencing. Courses then could be taught from around the world — not just Evansville. “If we are going to expect students to keep up in a global environment,” Bertram says, “they really have to understand the environment in which they will compete.”
This changes what students will learn: “emphasis on global markets, cultural awareness, and world languages,” Bertram says. “These are the fundamental changes in the structure of the school.”
How We’ll Worship
“Religion changes pretty slowly, so I would expect that over a decade, there won’t be enormous changes,” says Wendy McCormick, Southwest Center director of the Indianapolis-based Center for Congregations. What’s here to stay? While most Evansville congregations are Christian, other faith traditions will stay on our religious landscape, she says. Also, a diverse range of Christian traditions will continue to flourish — and new ones will form.
The congregations of 2020 will be:
Small. Especially in small towns and rural areas, many of the Tri-State’s congregations are small, with fewer than 50 or 100 people in worship. Some religious leaders are “bi-vocational” and work another job outside leading a congregation.
Service-oriented. “In the economic downturn, many congregations really have stepped up what they do for the poor and for people in need,” McCormick notes. She also predicts a greater concern for environmental responsibility.
Spiritual. Young adults in particular “are looking for ‘authentic spiritual experience,’” says McCormick. “That generation tends to be suspicious of razzle-dazzle. They’re not looking for slick, packaged programming.” These spiritual seekers may reject established congregations, forming house churches or new houses of worship as part of the emerging church movement. (Continued on Page 5)
Where, How Much, and What You’ll Eat
We will have some signature facilities. I’m speaking in terms of individuals who have received adequate training whereby they can open their own establishments. It’s along the lines of a tapas restaurant — not the small portions but the variety.
There will be meat, but it won’t be meat as we know it. As Americans, we can eat too much meat in one meal. These selections will be bite-sized portions but varied and several different types of portions on each plate. You’ll have the incorporation of more fresh fruit as well as vegetables.
Evansville is a pretty chain-driven city, but signature facilities will offer opportunities to consume local produce as well as livestock.
– Watez Phelps, chair of Ivy Tech Community College’s hospitality administration program
What Will Move You
Art always is an evolution, but that doesn’t mean it’s going in one direction.
Graphic art will continue to grow tremendously. The dance theaters, the philharmonic orchestras are struggling right now. Grant money is down and probably still will hit another low because of the economy, not because of loss of interest. The strong ones will survive. It’s another evolutionary process. Those that have been around for a long time and have weathered a few storms will pull through it. Any newer ones — innovative ones hoping to launch — might be stymied for a while. But, you will see different kinds of art come out. Wars and other struggles bring emotion to life.
— Mary Jane Schenk, executive director of the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana
What You’ll Be Listening To
Don’t worry: “Blues always will be the blues, and rock always will be rock,” says longtime blues guitarist Tommy Stillwell. A new genre may be on its way, though. Country, rhythm and blues, and 1970s Southern rock “all seem to be fusing,” says Stillwell, who’s played for more than 30 years. “Someone’s going to coin the term for this new type of music.” He sees this genre beginning now, and he points to the Grammy Award-winning collaboration of bluegrass artist Alison Krauss and rocker Robert Plant as one example of this new developing sound.
Where You’ll Go to Be Entertained
“I would think Downtown,” says Stillwell. “We have Casino Aztar two blocks off the south end of the walkway, and we have the Victory, The Centre, and the arena right at the north end. I think it’s coming together. It’s happening right before our eyes.”
How We’ll Dress
As a self-described “veteran of many fashion wars,” Jaye Moseley, owner of Excursions boutique in Evansville and Owensboro, Ky., has seen trends come and go — and come again. Still, the rules for looking great are timeless: “Select the lines that interpret the trends in the most wearable way,” Moseley says.
Which trends won’t stand the test of a decade? Currently, Moseley is “not loving anything too distressed or acid washed,” she admits. “And I successfully have resisted any form of harem pant.”
It’s hard to say which trends will stick around: “Fashion reflects what’s happening in pop culture, the economy, and politics,” Moseley says. She believes customers will continue to favor natural, organic fabrics — but she also predicts innovations in synthetic fabrics will make our clothes last longer, feel more comfortable, and cost less. Finally, “it also is my dream that the designers all will get together and finally realize that the real woman they are trying to dress is not a 20-year-old anorexic millionaire,” Moseley says.