Ecological Urban Design

Project Description

with Sarah Sugar, Amy Weinfurter

Our design focuses on improvements to Reach One of the American River Parkway, a stretch of greenbelt along the American River, just north of Sacramento, California. Despite its close proximity to downtown, this reach is less widely used than upstream sections, and suffers some of the most severe ecological threats. Its restoration could result in enormous potential benefits, both for the flora and fauna that rely on the river, and the park users who frequent the parkway. To physically and interpretively reconnect the river to its floodplain and the floodplain to the city, our project establishes points of explicit visual continuity across the river system, making use of the elevation differential between the levees and the parkway; the design also formalizes physical links between the river and the parkway, enhanced with functional infrastructure that serves to conceptually blur the hard line between the river channel and its floodplain.