Coming up with creative ways to add trail segments along highly developed areas and ensuring that neighborhood residents are involved in the process of planning new trails are top priorities of Active Trans' campaign for a continuous Chicago River Trail.
One area that presents opportunities and challenges is the 1.75-mile stretch from Lake Street in the Loop to the Amtrak vertical lift bridge in Chinatown.
That's why we're excited that River Edge Ideas Lab has opened -- it's an exhibit that features proposals for extending the Riverwalk to Chinatown. Nine leading architecture firms created breathtaking renderings that show how we can connect cultural sites such as the Civic Opera House, Congress Parkway and Ping Tom Park via pedestrian and bicycle trails.
These landmarks were selected because they represent common design challenges along the entire river system.
This interactive exhibit is part of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial and can be viewed in person at Expo 72 (72 E. Randolph Street) daily until January 7, 2018 (hours vary).
You can also see a traveling display that will stop in neighborhoods, including one for two weeks at the Eleanor Street Boathouse in Bridgeport starting October 2. For more information, please click here.
Ideas Lab is sponsored by the City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development and our Chicago River Trail coalition partner, Metropolitan Planning Council. The city wants to hear your feedback which will inform design guidelines for future development projects. After viewing the proposals in person or online, please make sure to take this survey.
It's energizing to see innovative concepts for turning the Chicago River a world-class asset. Some of the ideas include separated pedestrian and bike trails, a kayak trail at Ping Tom Park, a floating pool attached to a wooden pier and connecting the river via the St. Charles Airline Bridge (pictured) to Lake Michigan and Northerly Island.
Have you visited the exhibit and/or seen the drawings online? If so, please comment below and let us know your thoughts.
Please sign up for Chicago River Trail campaign updates here.
Photo credit: Architecture Firm SOM