Banking on Success: What’s happening on other cities’ rivers?

October 20, 2015 , By MPC Director Josh Ellis and MPC Research Assistant Becky Clow

Flickr user LincolnSquareInsider (CC)

Chicago's rivers have some beautiful areas but lack a clear plan for future use. Great Rivers Chicago is looking to other cities, as well as Chicago residents, as we create a long-term vision.

Many cities around the world have oriented themselves around rivers and waterfronts because access to water was a necessity for the survival of early settlers. Today this close proximity to water offers a valuable resource for cities to embrace. Many cities have developed or are developing river and waterfront plans to revitalize and improve their waterfronts economically, environmentally and socially.

Together with the City of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago River and others, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is leading Great Rivers Chicago, an initiative to create a long-term vision and action agenda for Chicago’s rivers—the Calumet, Des Plaines and Chicago. Other cities’ plans provide valuable insight for the process and format of our Great Rivers Chicago plan.

Each case study in this series discusses the most recent river or water plan of each city and how the plan was put together. At the end, the case study lays out challenges, successes and lessons for Chicago. Through these case studies, we’ll paint a holistic picture of what can make Chicago’s rivers great.

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