WE ❤️ DESIGN. Tours, exhibits, programs and events about Chicago architecture. Formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
A Kayak Park can help make the Chicago River healthier, and also create vital new public spaces in an area where they are lacking. We can transform the North Branch from eyesore to inspiration, bringing people to the water and helping regenerate an underappreciated part of the city.
Adding floating treatment wetlands (little islands that are essentially rafts with river grasses growing in them) to the river creates new habitat for birds, fish and plants. New park elements like a concert platform, a floating pool and a kayak launch will bring Chicagoans to the river and nearby companies and stores (such as Costco, Whole Foods and Goose Island’s tech hub), as well.
The projects shown here can be completed all at once or one at a time, as funding becomes available. Once we test it at the North Branch, a successful project could be repeated in other parts of the Chicago River—or other urban rivers—in the future.