Get ready, Baltimore –
Something exciting is coming to a waterfront near you
More than 50 years ago, the City of Baltimore transformed its Inner Harbor into a world-class attraction that set the standard for urban waterfronts. Once again, Baltimore has the opportunity to make lasting, positive change with the transformation of the waterfront along the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River in South Baltimore. The moment has arrived to unite nearby neighborhoods by providing amenities along with a connected system of parks and trails, with a focus on restoring wetlands and creating opportunities for recreation. The Middle Branch Waterfront will be the newest crown jewel in Baltimore’s inventory of great public parks: one of the country’s next great waterfronts.
The local neighborhoods, businesses, public institutions and community groups that surround Middle Branch have been laying the groundwork for this ambitious undertaking for years through efforts to replace post-industrial landfills and brownfields with trails and parks. To further to their efforts and launch a holistic movement to transform the shoreline, the City of Baltimore has hired the Parks & People Foundation to seek experienced, professional talent and manage a team selection process to re-envision the waterfront with active community input. Starting in June 2018, Parks & People engaged hundreds of community members and stakeholders to identify goals, document priorities and launch a process that will bring this long-held dream to reality.
Based on feedback, a juried design competition is planned for the spring of 2019. As part of the competition, the public will get to interact with potential design teams and comment on their designs. Public feedback and the competition jury’s recommendation will be provided to the Mayor of Baltimore City, who will make the final decision. Plans to implement that design will follow thereafter with 18 months of design and engineering to prepare for phased construction. During this time, watch for exciting projects happening along the Middle Branch.
Questions & Answers
Who is leading this initiative?
Parks & People Foundation (Parks & People) is managing community engagement and design team selection for City of Baltimore (the City) under a contract with the City and the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership. The contract is to recruit highly qualified experts to assist in finding the best team to work with Baltimore on this exciting initiative. The project is supported by a dedicated working group, committees and a variety of active stakeholders, including a Steering Committee, comprised of property owners, community representatives, government leaders, elected officials and technical experts.
Why a design competition?
The Middle Branch Waterfront stretches for more than 11 miles, including a number of neighborhoods and a variety of land uses. The project will be complex and multi-faceted, requiring diverse expertise in many disciplines of design and planning led by a landscape architecture firm with a demonstrated track record of success working at this scale and with local talent.
How can I get involved?
You will have the chance to attend public events or competition exhibitions to comment on competition entries. Public comments will be shared with the Mayor, who will choose the winning competition entry. Stay up-to-date by visiting this website, following the project on Facebook and by signing up to receive email updates.
Where is the Middle Branch?