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Integrating Sustainable Green Solutions into Urban Design: The Marina District Riverfront Redevelopment Project

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Located along one mile of Maumee riverfront, the Marina District in Toledo, Ohio represents a showcase project for brownfield redevelopment, new urbanism, green infrastructure, habitat restoration, sustainability, as well as neighborhood revitalization.

Now under construction is the 20 million Riverfront Park, roadway and infrastructure project, representing the first phase of a planned project to transform a former brownfield into a new 100 acre, 1000 unit urban neighborhood on the Maumee River.

The Marina District is envisioned as a mixed use, walkable New Urbanism development with ground floor retail and residential above. Placemaking elements to create a focal point and attract residents to this new neighborhood include an urban amphitheater, clock tower, transient marina, urban beach, great lawn, riverfront promenade, riverfront trail, and more.

Green infrastructure elements are incorporated into the urban design as functional and high visibility garden amenities. Four terraced raingardens will filter the first flush runoff of 0.75 inch from the 55 acre neighborhood development area. Raingardens are each themed with different color harmonies such as hot colors, cool colors, and grass bands. The Riverside Drive streetscape will incorporate 4 streetside raingardens.

Multiple aquatic habitat features are planned to increase fish populations as well as species diversity. Habitat restoration elements include restoration of riparian edge vegetation in the form of a planted shore protection system, “green bulkhead” habitat baskets mounted on the sheet piling. Gravel substrates below the shoreline will provide needed walleye fish spawning habitat and reduce turbidity. Additionally, submerged & emergent aquatic vegetation will increase dissolved oxygen levels and offer food for the migrating walleye. Outlined in the Maumee River RAP AOC Plan, the Maumee River, Lake Erie's largest tributary, offers the largest population of migrating walleyes east of the Mississippi River.

The 320 million, 1000 unit project represents a major reinvestment in downtown Toledo. Brownfield cleanup and Infrastructure development were funded by a variety of state grants.
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Keywords: Marina District; Riverfront Park; brownfield redevelopment; green infrastructure; habitat restoration; performance spaces; raingardens; riverfront promenade; urban amphitheatre; urban redevelopment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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