#TBT: Student project on Possible River Futures
Okay, I’m just having fun here, playing the concepts of “throwback Thursday” and “river futures” against each other. The “throwback” part is that, six years ago, we worked with an extraordinary team of design students on a project called “Imagine the Mississippi.” The “futures” question is that the students proposed 30 ideas that would allow people to get closer to, even touch, the water in the Central Minneapolis Riverfront area.
Lest you think the work of students is all fantasy and pie-in-the-sky, take a good look at what’s contained here. Remember, this was done in 2010, before “River First” had even been thought of, much less developed and adopted as policy. Nevertheless, Idea #1, “Hall Island Swimming Hole,” is now on the Minneapolis Park Board’s list of capital projects as a signature piece of the long term River First agenda.
Lovers of irony will appreciate Idea #6 “Upper Lock Pool,” which states “Because the Upper St. Anthony Lock is facing a possible closure in the next few decades…” Wrong: the Upper Lock closed in 2015, but no one thought it would be that quick. Who says students are living in “their own little world?”
Take a look at the ideas in “Imagine the Mississippi”: what will a Throwback Thursday in 2026 be looking at and saying “how did they know that would happen?” I’m hoping for Idea #5 “St. Anthony Falls Restoration.”