Making of Brickline Greenway: Project & Process
This is a major public-private partnership to bring a long-time vision to life. The mission/vision statement explains, “This greenway will transform St. Louis by connecting people and our City’s most treasured places, creating inspiring experiences and equitable opportunities for growth.” More than just a free, accessible trail where people can exercise, commute or explore, the project’s goals include thinking about equitable economic opportunities for everyone to thrive. The greenway aims to create dynamic, active spaces and serve as a regional gathering place that encourages collaboration and boosts civic pride.
Spring 2021 Update: COVID-19 is impacting us all in different ways – we wanted to share how we’re adapting to move forward in a way that makes sense for this project in our community. Projects will move as quickly as they can despite the challenge at hand; please remember that progress moves at the speed of trust and honoring our commitment to engagement is priority for long-term success.
- As you may remember, this greenway got a new name in March 2020 and the Framework Plan was finished. Read more here.
- We’re moving forward with three different segments and coordinating with other regional projects on community engagement, infrastructure and equitable economic development.
- Governance research for funding, operations and maintenance options has wrapped up – we’re coordinating with the City of St. Louis to finalize recommendations.
- For the private side of this public-private partnership, we’ve conducted a Campaign Feasibility Study to understand possible paths forward. There is a lot of work to do but the potential and momentum is strong.
Three segments will be moving forward right now, plus partner coordination projects:
- The segment from Fairground Park south to the Grand MetroLink Station and east to NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) needs to be driven by community engagement. Because we cannot gather or go door to door right now, this does present some challenges with broad engagement. We’re focusing on taking stock of existing conditions and partners, engaging one-on-one with stakeholders and community leaders and planning for future engagement, both now and when we can connect in real life again. Our 2020 budget has funds secured to advance planning and design when we’re ready to move forward.
- The segment from the Central West End MetroLink Station east toward the Grand MetroLink Station will continue with planning and design. Progress within this segment will be paced to coordinate with partners like the City Foundry Project and the Armory District and align our timelines as much as possible to be good stewards of your investments.
- The segment from the campus of Harris Stowe State University to the Major League Soccer stadium is focused on a conceptual design of a public art project to remember, honor and celebrate the Mill Creek Valley neighborhood. This piece is being designed by artist Damon Davis with input from community and key stakeholders.
In addition to those segments, we will continue to collaborate with other projects in our region such as the Cortex to Tower Grove Connector project (a collaboration of Trailnet, City of St. Louis, Arch to Park and many others), Project Connect, the PGA Golf project on North Grand and the St. Louis Development Corporation’s Equitable Economic Development Plan to ensure these efforts and the Brickline Greenway support and complement each other.
Framework Plan, published December 2019
As you check out the Framework Plan materials, please remember that this is a conceptual plan, all images are draft ideas to illustrate the ways this project could come to life. All proposed conditions imagery is copyright of Stoss.
December 2019 Project Update – Making of a Greenway:
Full Framework Planning document:
(to download or print this plan, please contact Great Rivers Greenway at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Brickline Greenway’s first project: Boyle Avenue to Sarah Avenue
The St. Louis region was awarded a $10.3 million US Department of Transportation TIGER grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) to construct a new MetroLink light rail station along with the first segment of this greenway so employees and visitors can walk or ride bikes to connect with the Cortex Innovation Community. Construction began in June 2017 and the station and greenway opened in July 2018.
Review the process thus far:
- Late 1990s/Early 2000s – Many partners create a conceptual plan to connect Forest Park to the Arch.
- September 2017 – Began community engagement to understand the wants and needs of residents. From digital outreach to neighborhood meetings, a listening tour to pop up events, mailings and more, 2,062 people contributed ideas through the survey, plus a Community Advisory Committee was formed to help create a set of community goals for the design teams to follow.
- November 2017 – Great Rivers Greenway and partners received a total of 19 team qualifications submittals for the first stage of the competition. A total of 124 firms from seven countries and 13 U.S. states made up the team submissions, with 44 of the firms being local to the St. Louis region. Learn more about the chosen teams here.
- November 2017 – The jury selected 4 of the 19 teams to advance. Recap here.
- January 2018 – Two community events kicked off the competition for the four teams. Read more, watch video, see photos.
- January 2018 – The design teams got a full briefing and were officially challenged to come up with ideas to address the geography below in the context of the Design and Community Goals.
- April 2018 – Meet the concepts that were submitted: exhibit boards, full design reports People gave feedback online, through exhibits all over town and attended or watched the livestream of the presentations from the teams to the jury.
- April 2018 – The jury deliberated and selected the Stoss Landscape Urbanism team, made up of 12 entities (6 local to St. Louis, 6 national). Read the full press release AND their jury report!
- May 2018 – The Design Competition jury selected the STOSS Landscape Urbanism team, comprised of six local and six national entities.
- July 2018 – To help ensure that the greenway is representative of the community and welcoming to all visitors, Great Rivers Greenway, with the support of the Whitaker Foundation, has assembled a new Artists of Color Council. Made up of visual, literary and performing artists, this council will provide guidance to design, promote and implement art and engagement opportunities within the greenway area.
- Fall 2018 – Work to refine the concept continues while engagement evolves. The Community Advisory Committee, Design Oversight Committee and Technical Advisory Committee, tools of the competition, are finished. Some of those members and many new faces are recruited to join a Steering Committee and Working Groups, blending a variety of voices into groups focused on design, routes, economics, equity and governance.
- February 2019 – On February 5, 2019, we welcomed more than 300 people to our Community Update, which included a presentation, more than 25 other partners with tables and engagement activities and a series of display boards to update everyone. Event and digital interactive mapping activities gathered input from participants.
- Spring/Summer 2019 – The Steering Committee and Working Groups guide the team through the creation of a Framework Plan, creating a platform for the project before any designs for any segments begin, addressing design choices including art, amenities, ecology and more, route options and criteria for selection, economic opportunities, governance models and equity considerations. Stakeholder engagement with elected officials, neighborhood leaders and other institutions continues. Four major Feedback and Fun Fests were held in July 2019 to gather people’s input, including writing love letters and breakup letters to the City of St. Louis.
- Fall 2019 – Specific neighborhood engagement took place as portions began to move into planning and design, continued stakeholder meetings. The Framework Plan, highlighted above, was finished, setting a foundation of key principles, intended outcomes and a roadmap for moving any or all segments forward.
- Winter/Spring 2020 – We heard from engagement that the name “Chouteau Greenway” was hard to say and spell, and that it isn’t meaningful to everyone. Plus, now that the greenway extends north and south, being named for a specific east-west street is causing confusion. In Winter 2020, the community responded to a call for name ideas with nearly 1,000 submissions, which were reviewed and narrowed down by the Artists of Color Council, Steering Committee and Working Groups. The group selected their top 3 recommendations based on how unique it was to St. Louis, how well it fits with the greenway’s vision for a vibrant, diverse and inclusive future for our region, easy to say/spell/understand, and broad enough to encompass the full greenway project (not just a specific place or area). After a robust discussion, the Board selected “Brickline Greenway”. The experience of this greenway will weave you through the heart of our city – no matter which of the many neighborhoods you’re passing through, you’re sure to notice one thing: brick. From the clay mines beneath your feet, this strong, gritty and gorgeous material has literally shaped our city for hundreds of years. It’s a testament to the sturdy, self-made attitude embodied by our city and our people. The newly renamed Brickline Greenway gives visitors an idea of what they’ll see as they explore – the combination of beautiful brick and native Missouri trees and plants. It pays homage to our history and invites everyone to collaborate toward building a more connected St. Louis. Read more about the naming process (including video and toolkit) here.
- Spring/Summer 2020 – Continued stakeholder engagement pivoted to virtual during the COVID-19 crisis. The team explored public and private fundraising models and began coordinating with other projects in the area to align with their schedules and opportunities to collaborate.
- Fall/Winter 2020/2021 – Working groups were formed to steer the overall project (Universal Design, Equity + Economic Development) and the specific segments (CWE to Grand MetroLink Stations and Fairground Park to Grand MetroLink Station) as they move through design.