SOM’s designs for a revamped public space in the Windy City

The Chicago Riverwalk Main Branch Framework Plan defines a bold vision for improvements to the public rights-of-way of the Main Branch of the Chicago River. The challenge of this project was to create an actionable plan with specific recommendations to guide a multi-year implementation program, as well as provide opportunities for public and private sector participation.

This plan includes guidelines for the construction of a continuous walkway from Lake Michigan to Lake Street, ramp and elevator improvements to establish universal access between street and river levels, loading and storage spaces to support river business operations, and landscape improvements to return plants and animals to the river corridor.

This plan also includes conceptual designs for a new focal point feature, activity space and green amenity at the river confluence, a new public market under Wacker Drive and new pedestrian bridge to link both sides of the river east of Columbus Drive.


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