Director, Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning, Indianapolis Center
Brad Beaubien came from Sioux City, Iowa, to Ball State University to pursue an education in landscape architecture and urban planning. Give or take 75 miles, he’s still there. Beaubien earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State and in 2009 became director of the university’s College of Architecture and Planning in Indianapolis.
In that role, he oversees the master of urban design program, serving as an academic adviser and student recruiter. His main job, he said, is getting students engaged with community work in Indianapolis.
“It is different being down here away from the mother ship—it has its challenges and its rewards—but the university has been supportive,” he said.
Beaubien’s achievements include being part of the team that won a 2010 National Planning Excellence Award from the American Planning Association for creating urban design guidelines for Indianapolis. The guidelines inform the city’s review of all downtown projects.
He’s also particularly proud of helping create the Smart Growth District around 22nd Street and the Monon Trail, which “went further and faster than anticipated.” Beaubien brought in the American Institute of Architects and created one of the first five pilots for the federal sustainable community partnerships program. “We went from an idea to a federally designated district,” he said.
Beaubien, who’s married and has two sons, is keenly focused on building neighborhoods, whether it’s the near-downtown King Park Area Development Corp. (where he’s on the board) or in his role with Ball State.
“Most neighborhoods in the suburbs have their own swimming pool, their own tennis courts and clubhouse,” he said. “They have trail systems, sidewalks—all these public amenities that have been privatized within a homeowners’ association. The old parts of Marion County have those things, but lots of Marion County was built at a time when those things didn’t have value. We have to look at how we save those neighborhoods.”•