South Waterfront Greenway

South Waterfront Greenway

Model Waterfront Reclamation 
{"autoplay":"true","autoplay_speed":"3000","speed":"300","arrows":"true","dots":"false","loop":"true","nav_slide_column":5,"rtl":"false"}

DETAILS

LocationPortland, Oregon, United States
ClientCity of Portland
Size24 acres

The new urban plan for South Waterfront includes a 1-1/2 mile extension of downtown’s waterfront parks and the reclamation of the Willamette River for public recreation. The design team worked closely with the City of Portland, developers, and natural resource advocates to strike a balance between development, recreation and re-naturalization of this neglected post-industrial waterfront. Extensive public outreach and charrettes with the community and other stakeholders required reconciling disparate and conflicting goals about the extent of development, re-naturalization and public access to the river.

The schematic design achieved broad consensus and, together with design guidelines, is a comprehensive guide to the incremental mixed-use and park development that will follow. The park is first and foremost dedicated to the restoration of a post-industrial waterfront as a naturalized river edge and riparian habitat. The dense mixed-use development planned along its edge, as well as pedestrian and bike trails, placed the need for access at odds with the habitat goals. Working closely with environmental advocates, the design team devised a rational plan for the park, which strategically places access and activity in “moments” and nodes without compromising the newly-formed habitats. These spaces range from dramatic cantilevered pier overlooks, boat launches and active civic plazas to quiet, sloping lawns meadows and terraces. These spaces, along with the shoreline trail and bikeway, are all intended to serve the park’s diverse constituency and are connected to the city’s riverwalk, bikeway, tramway and light rail systems.

The design celebrates a rich, Native American and industrial logging and ship building heritage with a landscape narrative of cranes, ship’s bows, terraces, log overlooks and bargeways; all expressed in the 21st century design language of our current culture. While South Waterfront Park is unique to Portland’s cultural and historical heritage, it is a model for new urban waterfront parks across the country that must now meet a combination of environmental, cultural and growth goals on common ground.

Related Projects

Chelsea Waterside Park

In 1986, Thomas Balsley Associates was asked by the Chelsea Waterside Park Association to translate this community’s vision for a waterfront park into a design document that would be used to plan the new Route 9-A and the proposed Hudson River Park. Ten years later, when funding for the Chelsea Waterside Park was identified, Thomas Balsley Associates won an in...

Guiyang CBD

In the heart of Guizhou province lies China’s Forest City: Guiyang. Nestled on the banks of the Nanming River, today’s Guiyang is a vibrant metropolis poised to play a significant role in the rapid development of inland China. The Nanming Riverfront Cultural Central Business District Master Plan, led by SOM, leverages this potential and proposes Guiyang as the...

Queens West Open Space Master Plan

Queens West is a new mixed-use community planned for the Long Island City shoreline, directly across from midtown Manhattan and the United Nations. Central to its urban plan is an extensive open space system that includes upland and waterfront parks as well as streetscape. Beginning with conceptual plans the Thomas Balsley Associates team, together with Weintr...

Curtis Hixon Park

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park has been heralded as Tampa’s missing “here” and the crown jewel in the city’s Riverwalk, a bold new urban plan conceived to reactivate the Hillsboro River and downtown Tampa. To ensure that the park takes its place as focal point of this new cultural district, a master plan was prepared from which the park, Riverwalk, and museums a...

Sava Promenada at the Belgrade Waterfront

SWA’s role includes creating a detailed master plan, conceptual design, and preparation of design guidelines for a one-million-square-meter (100-hectare) site along the Sava River, next to the historic town center of Belgrade. The developer’s goal is to create a world-class sustainable waterfront development, as the single largest regeneration proj...

Flushing Commons

This ten-acre mixed-use development with parks, plazas, and retail will become the center of social and retail activity in downtown Flushing. Driven mostly by an influx of immigrants from East Asia, Flushing is one of the fastest-growing and most diverse neighborhoods in the US. Abuzz with shopping and socializing at all hours of the day and evening, its stree...

Westshore Park

Complementing the Inner Harbor’s world-famous promenade, Westshore Park has come to be known as the city’s living room on the harbor. The park is strategically located on the innermost shore of the harbor and sandwiched between the new Baltimore Visitor Center and the Maryland Science Center. Having rediscovered its maritime heritage and opened it to the world...

Next C

Next C Water City is a new, fully self-contained sustainable city planned for 500,000 residents. Water was central to the Next C planning concept, supplied by two adjacent rivers and monsoon rains. The city is a system of wetlands, rivers, lakes, and canals, cleansing the water from up-river communities and managing floods during the monsoon season. Working wi...

2020-01-22T01:37:22+00:00