International Design Firm to Draft ‘Broad Picture’ Study of Riverfront, Mt. Vernon to Newburgh
The Evansville Economic Improvement District along with the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, have begun a long-term study to improve sections of the Ohio Riverfront
The Evansville Economic Improvement District along with the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership have begun a long term study in how to best utilize and improve sections of the Ohio Riverfront.
They've elected to work with international design firm Sasaki.
You can learn more about them here
The first thing to know about this project is that it’s not just asking Sasaki how to “spruce up” the riverfront visually.
It’s more of a big-picture study and the resulting plans could take decades to complete.
“This is an intellectual exercise as much as it is a ‘pretty picture’ exercise,” said Josh Armstrong, president of the Evansville Economic Improvement District. He said Sasaki is known for much larger projects such as Chicago, Cincinnati and Davenport Iowa, but they're excited to work with Evansville’s riverfront.
Armstrong likes Sasaki because of the public input they gather and their attention to how humans use public spaces, and the science of the river interacting with the land.
They’ll be studying many aspects of the riverfront and taking public input starting soon.
“For every survey we've done, every time we talk to residents and visitors alike, we hear that our riverfront needs to be more active, easier to access for people, and can be a bigger draw in our region,” he said. “And so this is really the first step in understanding how we make that happen.”
Once the study determines what’s needed to improve sections of the riverfront, the improvement district will also get help learning how to fundraise for projects. Depending on the size of the improvement or change to the riverfront, some changes might take decades.
“So this is really more of a high level master plan and strategy for the riverfront,” Armstrong said. “And we think that the riverfront is really one of our most underutilized assets.”
He said the river could better serve and be accessible to visitors, and even become an economic catalyst and way to retain talent in the city of Evansville.
“Overall, we're very distanced from the river.”
The study will cost about $900,000 which are separate from any possible projects the study suggests.
“So we're excited to help bring together citizens and our local experts in understanding what it is, in painting that really broad picture, and when it could be,” Armstrong said, adding that he has no idea yet, how much the river projects will cost.