September 14 2012

8 Ways to Redevelop the City of Richmond’s Riverfront

Richmond Virginia RiverfrontThe 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.

  1. An effective Richmond Riverfront Plan needs proper commercial, residential, and green space development;
  2. Incorporating vendors helps to increase traffic;
  3. Adopting riverfront events help to create excitement and enjoyment;
  4. Repairing any drainage, sewage, or overflow problems should be considered in addition to creating accessible routes;
  5. Great marketing plans go a long way towards drawing people to the river;
  6. No plan is complete without public participation;
  7. Joint partnerships are key components that make many riverfront plans come to life;
  8. 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.

Jamaal Davis

Jamaal Davis has lived in Richmond, Virginia for over 37 years, where he was born and raised. He studied Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. His interests in urban planning began in the low-income neighborhoods of Southside Richmond, Virginia. As a result of those years, he has made it his goal to affect change in his community by changing its surroundings. His passion for planning lies in his desire to understand and change the housing conditions in low-income neighborhoods. He is currently working for a private consulting firm, but he plans on obtaining a planning position within a local government. His ultimate goal is to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 14th, 2012 at 12:27 pm and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Environment, Environmental Design, Infrastructure, Land Use, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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