North Downtown Waterfront Development: Urban Design Proposals

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Title: North Downtown Waterfront Development: Urban Design Proposals
Author: Schmidt, Elizabeth M.; Larco, Nico
Abstract: During the fall 2010 academic term at the University of Oregon, five groups of three students in an architecture studio course worked with the City of Salem to develop five schemes for the redevelopment of the North Downtown Waterfront. The students investigated existing site conditions and a variety of factors influencing development of this particular part of Salem. These investigations led the students to focus on some key issues that would be addressed by the broad range of the groups’ design schemes, including: • The Commercial Street barrier, currently blocking access to the Willamette River, particularly for bicyclists and pedestrians • A significantly underutilized Mill Creek • The rail line on Front Street • The potential for direct connections to other parts of Salem, via bike paths along waterways, Union Street for east/west connections, or Liberty Street for downtown accessibility With these issues in mind, groups began to branch out into their own particular visions of what the area could become in the future. Each group took an individual approach and worked toward a unique scheme, but all students stressed the importance of a few common elements: • Including special public places within the site • Encouraging a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly environment • Moving toward a more sustainable community, including green streets, bioswales, and ecological preservation of the creek and river habitat • Creating an overall mixed-use district that would help to form a unique and inviting community for Salem residents and visitors This report documents the students’ investigations into current conditions and possible future scenarios.
Description: 50 pages
Date: 2010

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