Louisville Builds a Green Ring Around the City

For the second time in its history, Louisville completed an ambitious and massive park planning and design process on its suburban fringe. The fringe today is just a bit farther out than it was in Olmsted's day.
May 13, 2016, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The scene on Floyds Fork.
Bryan Siders

Jen Kinney writes that this month in Louisville, "nonprofit 21st Century Parks is celebrating the completion of a new greenway on Louisville’s now expanded limits, the city’s first major public-private partnership to construct new parks." All told, the Parklands of Floyds Fork cost $125 million, creating 2,000 acres and nearly 20 miles of continuous parkways.

As Kinney notes, the new park is an echo of the park planning of Louisville's past: over 100 years ago, "Frederick Law Olmsted designed a system of 18 parks linked by 14.5 miles of greenery-ed boulevards around the then-urban edges of Louisville…"

Now the suburban edge of the city is decidedly farther out from the urban core, on land requiring a very involved series of transactions to assemble. According to Kinney, "21st Century Parks engaged in 80 separate land transactions with a variety of owners to piece together the park over the course of eight years. None of the land was acquired by eminent domain or condemnation."

The article includes more details about the amenities and facilities included in the completed park. City officials are expecting 2 million visitors to the park this year.

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Published on Thursday, May 12, 2016 in Next City
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