An extraordinary feat of engineering now nearly 150 years old, the 71-mile long High Line Canal delivered irrigation water from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the dry prairie of the region. Flash forward to today, the canal is outliving its useful life as an irrigation mechanism but has taken on a new life as a recreational resource and ecological asset to the growing region’s population. Gina Ford, while a principal at Sasaki and now with Agency, worked closely with the High Line Canal Conservancy and its constituents to create a forward-looking and feasible vision for the future of this unique landscape.
Over the course of 2016, more than 3,500 members of the seventeen unique communities along the canal came out to share their memories of the past, observations about the existing resource and ideas to help shape the future of the canal. Community engagement was as broad and diverse as the region – leveraging public open houses, online engagement, community presentations and workshops, and presence at existing community events throughout the region.
The resulting Vision and Action Plans create a powerful guiding framework for future design and planning efforts. The community-driven guiding principles will promote investments that foster the natural qualities, connectivity and context-specific experiences while also ensuring a high-level of management, stewardship and long-term sustainability. The next phase – a Framework Plan and concurrent signage and wayfinding improvements – is underway now and expected to be complete by the close of 2018.
American Planning Association, National Planning Achievement Award For Public Outreach — Gold, 2018.