What Will it Take to Transform Chicago's Riverfront?

With dozens of riverfront revitalization projects completed across the world in the past couple of decades, lessons abound for how Chicago can best integrate its waterfront and downtown. Whet Moser considers three examples.

Although the challenges to transforming the Chicago River into a "civic treasure" are numerous, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel focused on enlivening the downtown riverfront as "one of the 'legacy' showpieces the city will remember him by," the prospects for transforming six waterside blocks between State and Lake Streets are promising. As Emanuel works to "drum up the $100 million or so needed to make the plan a reality," Moser looks to similar projects in Indianapolis, San Antonio, and London for lessons on what worked, and what didn't.

His key takeaways from:

  • Indianapolis: "Don’t turn your back on the rest of the city."
  • San Antonio: "Go mixed-use or go home." 
  • London: "Think beyond downtown."

Full Story: What Chicago Can Learn From Three Other Urban River Walks

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