Fort Wayne has some grand plans for riverfront development. The City says the first step is to work on riparian buffers – specific areas of plants and soil along the river banks. This land, along with other rocky areas that separate the city from the water, create levees.
But not a lot is known about how to comprehensively improve the levees and environment along the rivers - yet.
The banks along Fort Wayne’s rivers serve multiple purposes. Vegetation controls erosion, and helps filter water. Other impermeable areas help with runoff, and control flooding. We continue our series "The Three Rivers" with an explainer on an important, but often overlooked feature: riparian buffers.
Plans to redesign Fort Wayne’s riverfront have taken another step toward becoming a reality. Consultant SWA Group unveiled their latest design at public meetings this week.
SWA Group has been attempting a comprehensive look at enhancing the city’s riverfront since November 2013, and has conducted several surveys and community feedback sessions on possible designs.
The latest plan focuses on nature, recreation, and building a riverfront promenade. Rooftop terraces and pedestrian bridges would connect areas of the promenade and highlight the confluence of the 3 rivers.
The City of Fort Wayne asked and its residents answered – nearly 2,600 people responded to a survey about what they’d like to see in the future of downtown riverfront development.
Recreational uses, both on and next to the river, had the most positive responses from the survey – followed by natural habitats and simply interesting places to sit. Mixed use development was close behind.
People weren’t as interested in housing and winter activities on the river, however.
The City of Fort Wayne is taking public input on its riverfront development study. The study is a comprehensive look at the City’s rivers and surrounding land, and intended to guide future investment and development for the downtown riverfront. The city’s first public input meeting was held Thursday.
It was standing room only at the meeting. Many attendees wanted to know more about recreational and retail opportunities on the river.