Indianapolis: Urban Patch Is A Family Affair
Video: Urban Patch honored as one of ioby’s 2012 Heroes in Our Backyards: Reimagining Vacant Space (Must see. Mike)
Moore’s grandfather Albert ran a large urban agriculture project in the 1940s, which served as the inspiration for Urban Patch.
By Kate Franzman
Urban Patch aims to improve Indy’s inner city by means other than gentrification. Cofounder Justin Moore, an urban designer for the New York City Department of Planning, grew up in the historically black Mapleton–Fall Creek neighborhood, where he, his parents, and two brothers started Urban Patch by purchasing an abandoned house with a credit card. They fixed up the home—and have done so with dozens of buildings since—and rented it at-cost to black residents.
Other efforts have included installing public art, handing out free redbud trees, and creating community gardens, an endeavor rooted in family history. Moore’s grandfather Albert ran a large urban agriculture project in the 1940s, which served as the inspiration for Urban Patch. Since they reinvest profits and don’t take salaries, the Moores are flexibile to reimagine vacant spaces, which in 2012 won the group a Heroes in Our Backyards award from a national civic crowdfunder.