search menu flickr twitter phone angle-left angle-right angle-up angle-down file-pdf link-ext doc-inv sitemap location map calendar credit-card clock facebook-squared minus plus cancel ok instagramm download inkwell

The Chicago Riverwalk: Building Public Space in an Urban Waterway

Over the last decade, the role of the Chicago River has been evolving with the Chicago Riverwalk project—an initiative to reclaim the Chicago River for the ecological, transport, recreational and economic benefit of the city. The goal of embracing the river as an amenity seemed impossible years ago given the river’s high levels of pollution. Recent improvements in river water quality and the increased intensity of public recreational use signal growing life along the river, demanding new connections to the water’s edge. The City of Chicago recently completed the 1.25 mile Riverwalk with the opening of the final six blocks between State Street and Lake Street. With new connections that enrich and diversify life along the river, each block takes on the form and program of a different river-based typology. These “Rooms” include: The Marina Plaza, The Cove, The River, The Water Plaza, The Jetty, and The Riverbank. As a new connected path system, the Chicago Riverwalk provides both continuity and variety. The distinct programs and forms of each typological space allow for diverse experiences on the river ranging from dining opportunities to expansive public event programming to new amenities for human-powered craft.  This walk-shop will show each of the Rooms, discuss their design features, and programming goals. Participants will also see legacy Riverwalk projects and hear of future plans to extend the Riverwalk even further.

Mode: Walking