Senior Thesis

Reconnecting to a Forgotten River: An Ecological Solution

by: Aaron Hanson

 

Abstract

Waterways are a vital and productive resource to our environment. Rivers provide a variety of amenities and services to communities across the world such as drinking water, food, travel, recreation, wildlife habitat, connection to place, aesthetic appeal, economic development, etc. This thesis project examines the importance of the Mississippi River to its urban community and how riverfront design can function as a unifying element for the city center and its ecosystem. Over half of the world’s future population will be living in urban environments by 2030, which will dramatically increase the stress on a vulnerable network of water systems. A restoration of a river can bring awareness to people while improving physical and ecological corridor connections (Bernhardt & Palmer, 2007).

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