The overall goal of any riverfront plan is to create river accessibility that becomes a major resource to the community; by linking it to nearby communities so that both residents and tourist can enjoy it. While many communities have a neighboring river as a potential asset to their community, most local governments are unable to take advantage of this resource because of a lack of urban planning or lack of government interest.
Consequently, the city of Richmond, Virginia is one such place where a river is readily accessible to the community but is underutilized by its residents because of underdevelopment. To combat this problem, the city of Richmond, Virginia, in June 2012, adopted a contemporary plan called the Richmond Riverfront Plan. But while the plan carefully lays out measures for how to provide river enjoyment to residents by taking measures such as creating a terrace near the Manchester neighborhood, or by creating a bike ramp near 10th street, the plan also fails in certain key areas. As a result, the plan has fallen short when it comes to marketing, implementation, sustainability, and regional support.
It is my belief that there are 8 fundamental points that must happen in order for the James River riverfront to properly redevelop.
- An effective Richmond Riverfront Plan needs proper commercial, residential, and green space development;
- Incorporating vendors helps to increase traffic;
- Adopting riverfront events help to create excitement and enjoyment;
- Repairing any drainage, sewage, or overflow problems should be considered in addition to creating accessible routes;
- Great marketing plans go a long way towards drawing people to the river;
- No plan is complete without public participation;
- Joint partnerships are key components that make many riverfront plans come to life;
- Regional support between neighboring communities will help make the Richmond Riverfront Plan more sustainable over time.
Ultimately, these and other measure can provide a great springboard towards establishing riverfront accessibility to all Virginia residents.
What do you think are some great ways to redevelop a riverfront community?
Credits: Image and data linked to sources.