2.5 mile river corridor
Engineering, Environmental Science, Landscape Architecture, Master Planning, Urban Planning and Design
Honor Award -- Analysis and Planning, Planning Document Award
civil engineering, community, community development, ecological restoration, environmental science, green design, landscape architecture, landscape for stormwater control, master plan, mixed-use, multidisciplinary, neighborhood plan, public outreach, riverfront, stormwater management, streambank restoration, urban planning, urban planning and design, urban regeneration, waterfront
Sometimes called Milwaukee’s “Lost River,” the Kinnickinnic ran naturally through the city until it was lined with concrete in the early 1960s. As the city grew, the channelized and increasingly polluted river lost its capacity to handle runoff, leading to flooding and public health problems. When the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District embarked on a flood control project to remove the concrete embankments and widen the river, they and the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center engaged a team led by SmithGroupJJR to develop a plan to reconnect a restored river corridor with its diverse urban community.
The SmithGroupJJR team identified ways the project could solve flooding issues and also be a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. With substantial public participation (facilitated in English and Spanish), the team developed a place-driven design solution of customized neighborhood cross-sections, making river restoration a springboard for broader neighborhood renewal and redevelopment. This innovative, award-winning approach demonstrates how sustainable design and green infrastructure practices can foster appreciation for natural urban areas and create community-building spaces.
Residential Stormwater BMPs in Kinnickinnic Watershed
Presentation by Ben Gramling, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center
Urban River Restoration Creates Healthier Neighborhoods
Article in Sustainable City Network featuring KK River project