Urban Patch Is Doing Great Things In Indianapolis

Urban Patch J Koore pic

Joyce Moore is a long-time resident of Mapleton-Fall Creek. She and her son Justin founded Urban Patch in hopes of rebuilding the sense of community that the neighborhood once had. / Erika D. Smith/The Star

Erika D. Smith: Inspiring urban neighborhoods is a family affair

“It really started with this picture of my grandfather.”

Justin Moore fished around in the pocket of his suit jacket for his smartphone. He tapped the screen a few times, and found a black and white photo of a distinguished-looking, balding black man. The resemblance to Justin is uncanny. “He died when my father was young,” he said. “So I never knew him.” Then Justin did some research.

Albert Moore was the agricultural director for Flanner House in the 1940s and 1950s. He helped build black, inner-city neighborhoods by teaching people how to be self-sufficient. His expertise was in teaching people how to grow their own food and survive on it.

Justin builds neighborhoods, too. Officially, as an urban planner for New York City. And less officially, at the helm of Urban Patch, an organization he founded with his mother, father and brother in Indianapolis.

Urban Patch is every bit an experiment inspired by Albert Moore. His relatives’ goal? To recreate what Flanner House was in its heyday. We’re talking about teaching people how to grow their own food, how to can it, how to cook it. How to sew so that people can make and repair their own clothing. How to renovate their own homes, repair their own appliances and build their own raingardens. And most of all, how to reconnect with their neighbors and rebuild the social cohesion that has been lost over time.

Continued at: The Indianapolis Star

Article Here: http://www.indystar.com/article/20131102/news19/311020007/erika-d-smith-inspiring-urban-neighborhoods-family-affair