Sioux City Promenade
Sioux City, IA | Water
The product of collaboration across multiple stakeholder groups, including the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) Urban Conservationists, City staff, local businesses, and various project partners, the Sioux City Promenade improvement reflects the interdependence of social, natural, and built environments. And, the positive impacts collaboration and unconventional revitalization solutions can have on local community life.
To preserve this popular area and attract more visitors, the City wanted to provide updates to the Promenade with sustainable design features that also promoted local businesses, outdoor opportunities, efficient storm water management, and responsible environmental stewardship.
Situated along historic 4th Street in the heart of downtown Sioux City, Iowa, the Promenade is a public space adjacent to the local movie theatre and Sioux City Convention Center, and surrounded by nearby coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. In 2016, the City set out to find a design and engineering partner to help address these compounding issues, and to take proactive actions to preserve the still wildly popular Promenade. The City and ISG proudly opened a revitalized Sioux City Promenade to the public the following fall - a Promenade that offers enhanced educational, environmental sustainability, and pedestrian opportunities using easy-to-implement yet unconventional urban renewal site and system improvement strategies.
In addition to replacing the Promenade’s concrete and aging pavers with standard and colored concrete patterns, improvements also added a new native planting plan, modern site furnishings, a concrete seating wall, and 50% increase in total greenspace. Together, this renewed outdoor space allows visitors to take part in more active and healthy lifestyles, with designs that create a sense of place not captured elsewhere in the community. A key element of these efforts was to preserve the Historic Roth Fountain, which now serves as a centerpiece. To do so, the updated Promenade was restructured to promote pedestrian versus vehicular traffic, allowing it to be a dedicated space to travel through, stop and relax, have conversations, experience community events, or enjoy lunch with a view.
Approximately 50% of the paved surface area in the existing Promenade was removed to incorporate bioretention cells, green space, and soil quality restoration. Called “multi-functional urban greenspaces,” these designs are literally green in that they introduce more natural landscapes, tree, and plant species to the area, and that they also leverage naturally occurring biological processes to reduce erosion and water pollution during rain events.
The Promenade’s high pedestrian traffic created the perfect opportunity to promote the innovative stormwater management solutions implemented across the site. Following project completion, a stormwater demonstration event presented to the community showcased how the new stormwater infrastructure and permeable surface manages rainfall, run-off, and roof drainage. Today, newly installed permanent signage provides educational components within the site to inform visitors of the purpose and benefits of sustainable urban design practices.