Wash. U. to help fund greenway connecting Forest Park to Gateway Arch

| Contributing Reporter

Great Rivers Greenway, an organization dedicated to constructing greenways—scenic outdoor spaces connecting areas of the city—is hosting a design competition to help create “Chouteau Greenway,” an area that will connect Forest Park to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Washington University has pledged to contribute funding to the project.

The design competition is open to teams from all over the world, who have until Nov. 21 to submit their qualifications. At that point, a jury of nine local and national design experts will convene to choose four teams, which will begin designing in early January 2018.

The St. Louis Gateway Arch stands in downtown St. Louis. An organization dedicated to constructing greenways, Great Rivers Greenway, currently is working to design a Chouteau Greenway to connect Forest Park to the Arch.Matt Mitgang | Student Life

The St. Louis Gateway Arch stands in downtown St. Louis. An organization dedicated to constructing greenways, Great Rivers Greenway, currently is working to design a Chouteau Greenway to connect Forest Park to the Arch.

“The Chouteau Greenway plan calls for a unique greenway through the heart of St. Louis—from Washington University and Forest Park all the way to Downtown and the Gateway Arch,” reads a post on Great Rivers Greenway’s website. “Community members, partners and designers will envision the Chouteau Greenway through a design competition.”

In early April, the St. Louis community will have the chance to weigh in and respond to the designs through a survey on Great Rivers Greenway’s website. Based on those responses, the final design will be chosen and developed in the following years.

“One of the things that we’re doing is interviewing community leaders and stakeholders now to make sure we’re doing this project in a way that responds to the needs of the community,” Emma Klues, Great Rivers Greenway vice president of communications and outreach, said.

While the design competition is international, Great Rivers Greenway and partners are looking for input from St. Louis residents.

“Folks can weigh in on where they need to get to, the destinations that are important to them and the different types of things they would like to do along the Greenway,” Klues said.

Great Rivers Greenway also must consider the economic benefits of greenways while balancing its effects on surrounding communities.

“A greenway can be a catalyst for further economic benefit, which is great, but we also want to make sure that it is equitable and sustainable economic development, not displacing people or creating high rents that are impossible for people to stay in those neighborhoods,” Klues said.

Beyond providing a more sustainable way to get around the city, the project aims to create a more connected and accessible St. Louis, highlighting its communities, history and culture.

“It’s not just a way to get from here to there,” Klues said. “It’s also a destination in and of itself.”

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