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September 11, 2019
Seattle-based design, engineering and planning firm MIG SvR recently received two awards in the On the River's Edge design competition for its proposal to improve water quality, riparian resilience and economic prosperity for communities surrounding the Jordan River in Salt Lake County, Utah.
The competition was organized by Salt Lake County and the Jordan River Foundation.
MIG SvR won a conservation innovation award for “Jordan Rising: Clean Waters, Strong Communities, Prosperous People.” It also won the People's Choice Award.
The competition was aimed at encouraging locals to consider possibilities for public and private land near the river. The goals were to balance conservation, recreation, economic prosperity, activation and connectivity through the river's riparian corridor and in some of the surrounding industrial lands, MIG SvR said in press materials.
Organizers invited U.S.-based teams to submit ideas that balance conservation with development, link residents and visitors to an ecologically diverse nature corridor, create year-round recreational opportunities, and foster social gathering places.
Brice Maryman, MIG SvR's co-lead landscape architect, said the issues facing the river corridor include increased urbanization, drier summers, homelessness and habitat fragmentation.
The firm said that in its proposal a new hot-air balloon platform would float above the braided channels of the Jordan River, which would have a more diverse, complex and ecologically connected set of conditions. Green street retrofits would extend into the surrounding Salt Lake Valley landscape to improve the water being discharged into the river. Intensified land uses, and a diagonal shift connecting water to the mountains, would provide the financial underpinnings to bring the multi-year vision to life.
The firm's Seattle office worked with its other offices in the West on the proposal.