“Among a pool of proposals worthy of America’s fourth coast, TLS/KVA’s RIVERFIRST stood out as particularly well suited to the Upper Riverfront in Minneapolis. The team grounded their proposal in proactive outreach to the community, demonstrated extensive research, and posited several multi-layered solutions unique to these 11 miles of riverfront and the habitat, communities, businesses, infrastructure, and culture intrinsic to our region,” says David Fisher, Superintendent Emeritus of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and an MR|DC jury member. Fisher noted that the jury valued the participation of the other three finalists and the talent and effort represented in the proposals they submitted.
The TLS/KVA RIVERFIRST proposal offers a comprehensive remediation of the city’s storm water management system and its conceptual transformation into a system of ‘tributaries’ that are naturally cleaned with planted bio-filtration landscapes and returned to the river. The topography of the RIVERFIRST design is guided by the dynamics of the river. Where water scours and erodes, carving design principles are used to create water remediation ravines and terrace overlooks on the North East Bluffs. Where the river deposits new material, accretive principles of design are used to mold and shape land berms for the new Park.
The four finalist teams recently unveiled their visions for Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition (MR|DC), the largest landscape and urban design competition in Minneapolis history, each crafting a multidimensional landscape and urban design proposal addressing 220 acres of parkland and surrounding neighborhoods along 11 miles of riverfront from the historic Stone Arch Bridge north to the city limits.
Ken Smith Workshop – 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.
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.
TLS/KVA – RiverFirst
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.
Recently the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Minneapolis Parks Foundation, with Creative Partners, University of Minnesota College of Design and Walker Art Center announced the finalists for the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition.
Fifty-five design teams responded to the RFQ, and the 13-member jury noted that the quality was exceptionally high. Says Bill Morrish, MR|DC jury member, and Dean of the School of Constructed Environments and Associate Dean, Parsons The New School of Design in New York City, “The four teams we short-listed comprise innovative and inspirational people who will work very hard to create great concepts for the Minneapolis riverfront.”
Each team will produce 21st-century parks designs for 220 acres of parkland and the surrounding neighborhoods along both sides of the 5.4-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from the Stone Arch Bridge in the historic downtown Mill District to the city’s northern limits. The winning design will be a comprehensive, integrated vision for the Upper Riverfront that establishes parks as the engine for economic development, transforms the river into a connector rather than a barrier between east and west banks, and refocuses Minneapolis toward what is one of the three great rivers of the world.