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Agency Helps to Evolve Chattanooga’s Iconic American Riverfront

When the Chattanooga Riverfront, designed by Hargreaves Jones, opened in 2005, it made a big splash in the design world, gracing the covers of news stories and magazines alike. Celebrated as a model for 21st century riverfront development, the parks have since served the City of Chattanooga’s needs – and particularly those of large-scale riverfront gatherings – well.

Inspired by recent planning that called for changes to “Evolve the Riverfront”, Agency, along with team mates WMWA and Stantec, and collaborator Groundswell Design Group, is helping the City build on this history and design legacy while evolving the riverfront parks through the lens of today’s values. A 10-week “design sprint” engaged the community to create a context-sensitive, aspirational and achievable set of recommendations.

Our plan provides recommendations to provide more shade, more intimate and human-scaled spaces, enhanced programming, and more opportunities to connect with the City’s unique nature and culture along the river’s edge. It encourages the City to lean into the great biodiversity and rugged beauty of the region through plantings and restoration. It also outlines a series of new places – an architecturally-shaded porch with concessions and other comforts, a dynamic play slope, a memorial forest, discovery trail and art walk – that provide family-friendly and culturally-rich new uses.

Check out the longer project story here! And stay tuned for that next magazine cover!