At an August 4 community meeting at Farview Park Recreation Center
in Minneapolis, people got a chance to learn more about the RiverFirst
proposal for redeveloping a 5.5-mile stretch of the Mississippi River. It starts at the Stone Arch Bridge and goes north.
meeting focused on benefits for the city's North and Northeast
areas, which are largely cut off from the river, along with the idea of
"problem-solving" parks that would be destinations, according to a prepared statement
about the event.
It's part of a broadly based community engagement
effort to gather feedback about the RiverFirst proposal--under the
umbrella of the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative
--for re-imagining this portion of the riverfront. The TLS/KVA
team of landscape architects and designers won a design competition earlier this year to bring its proposal to fruition.
is a multifaceted plan for revitalizing the riverfront. It includes
everything from riverfront trails to a "biohaven" that would use recycled materials to form a
riparian habitat for endangered species and migratory birds, according to project information.
now the design team is working to refine its proposal, studying its
feasibility and gathering public input, according to project manager
Mary deLaittre. On Sept. 21, the team will present its recommendations
implementation plans to the city's park board. HR&A Advisors
from New York is working closely with the design team to come up with a
strategic plan "that will shape the priority projects and financing
approaches," she says.
Six youth ambassadors are also working
to help spread the word about the project and collect feedback at
various community events.
One idea that has been well received,
deLaittre says, is for a green land bridge over I-94 to link Farview Park to
the river. It's a creative solution for
reconnecting this part of the city with the river and other parks and
DeLaittre underscores the
need for community input, for which people can fill out an online
survey. All along the way, comments and images from people are being
featured on the website under the heading, "River Is."
"This is a big civic project and it's imperative that people weigh in," she says.
being said, "The level of support has been tremendous," she says,
adding, "People are very interested in making sure it happens."
project has also attracted the attention of a delegation from Seattle
who are running a civic design competition. In coming to the Twin
the delegation "wanted to emulate the innovative community engagement
and coalition-building," she says.
Source: Mary deLaittre,
project manager for Mississippi Riverfront Development Initiative and
founder and principal of Groundwork City Building
Writer: Anna Pratt