Last Thursday, four globally renowned landscape and urban design teams converged on Minneapolis to present to the public their visions for the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition (MR|DC) at the Walker Art Center. The teams - Ken Smith Workshop (New York City), Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston), Tom Leader Studio (Berkeley), and Turenscape (Beijing) - each presented a multidimensional design proposal for 220 acres of parkland and surrounding communities along 5.5 miles of the Upper Riverfront in Minneapolis.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, with creative partners the Walker Art Center and the University of Minnesota College of Design, sponsor the MR|DC. The largest design competition in Minneapolis history, the MR|DC builds on the Park Board's award-winning 2000 Master Plan and is the first demonstration project of the Foundation's "Next Generation of Parks" initiative.
Following are the design presentations of the four shortlisted firms:
A set of inter-related design initiatives-focused on health, mobility and green economy-that function at multiple scales and are enhanced by community outreach strategies to raise public awareness about consumer choice impacts on the River system.
Turenscape: The Resilient River
A fifty-year framework for investment that focuses on: ecological renewal, social equity, new economies and a new identity for the city of the river, and includes a strategic approach to ecological infrastructure, re-orienting urbanism and phasing over time.
Stoss Landscape Urbanism: Streamlines
A longer-term transformation that reclaims the river as civic space, introduces new landscapes, infrastructure and urban fabrics, and weaves the multiple new and existing systems and experiences back into the city.
Ken Smith: City of the River
The river is a catalyst for renewal through new and enhanced park, infrastructure and ecological systems and a series of bold, iconic design scenarios that reflect the area's history and spirit of place.
Beginning in February, the public is invited to peruse the design submissions at several locations. First, the Walker Art Center will present "Four Visions of the Minneapolis Riverfront," a free, continuous screening of the design submissions and student work, in the US Bank Orientation Lounge in the Walker's lobby, February 1-28. The University of Minnesota College of Design will also exhibit the submissions. For forthcoming details about this and additional locations, see the MR|DC website.