Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The relationship of historic city form and contemporary greenway implementation: a comparison of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA) and Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)

by Donna L. Erickson

Many cities in North America are attempting to implement connected greenway networks. Some are building on sparse existing open space resources. Other metropolitan areas, like Milwaukee, Wisconsin (US) and Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) have an impressive historic open space framework on which to build. However, neither city is well known for progressive, contemporary greenway planning efforts. This research asks two main questions. First, how have early city planning efforts affected the pattern of connected greenway systems currently in place in these cities? To address this question, the history of open space planning and the physical change in greenway development is assessed over time. Second, what institutional structures are currently used to implement connected greenways, and how do they relate to the historic fabric? Organizational structures, inter-governmental cooperation, leadership and advocacy, and greenway objectives are compared in order to assess the degree to which a regional vision is being pursued. This project is based on comparative case study research. Qualitative techniques are used to develop in-depth cases. Findings show that Milwaukee and Ottawa have remarkable historic corridors to build from, especially in parkways planned along urban rivers in the early 20th century. This analysis shows, however, that contemporary collaboration around regional greenways planning is piecemeal, that greenway objectives have changed over time in important ways, and that coordinated greenway visions are lacking. Finally, both Milwaukee and Ottawa seem poised for integrated greenways programs, accelerated by innovative experimental projects, increasing environmental awareness, and growing institutional capacity. This research has relevance to the growing literature in greenway planning and implementation.

Milwaukee, photo by compujeramey

Milwaukee, photo by compujeramey

more about Milwaukee and Wisconsin:

What is a neighborhood? Anthony Dows' answer

Rail stops that make sense

We need a mobility plan, not a transportation plan

No comments:

Post a Comment