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Somehow Fort Worth didn't make the list.
7 Cities Transforming their Rivers from Blights to Beauties
Somehow Fort Worth did not make the list, but, Oklahoma City did, as did a Texas town named San Antonio. But no mention made of Fort Worth, with its river boondoggle mired in inept mediocrity (and too much e.coli) with its ill considered attempt to turn the Trinity River into a lake with canals and imaginary islands. A project which has been ambling along in slow motion since soon after the start of the new century.
Meanwhile, other towns in America, and the world, have actually transformed their town's rivers from blights to beauties.
However, in Fort Worth, after all these years, the Trinity River is still the same polluted river it was back when the Trinity River Vision was first foisted on the unsuspecting Fort Worth public, years before it became an imaginary island named after an imaginary panther.
The seven cities which have turned their blighted rivers into beauties are Chicago, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Medellin, Columbia, New York City, San Antonio and Los Angeles.
The transformation of Oklahoma City's river is quite impressive. I have been impressed with Oklahoma City each time I have visited. I recollect being in OKC soon after Fort Worth's Trinity Uptown project was announced. OKC had this development underway called Bricktown. There were signs telling of the funding mechanism, based on a bond issue which was the result of a vote. I remember thinking, wow, Oklahoma City is a much more advanced American city than pathetic Fort Worth. That was well over 15 years ago.
Blight to Beauty article...
In the 1920s and 30s, the US Army Corps of Engineers rerouted the North Canadian River around downtown Oklahoma City, to avoid flooding. The result was a marshy watercourse that locals liked to joke about mowing instead of rowing. A $53-million project completed in 2004 rejuvenated the stretch, creating the seven-mile, dam-controlled body of water whose name was then changed to the Oklahoma River. Since then, a one-cent sales tax initiative has funded additional enhancements to the river and its surrounding Boathouse District. Master planned by local architecture firm Rand Elliot + Associates, the area includes walkways, performance spaces, shopping, and angular glass and steel boathouses. The newest feature, an 11-acre whitewater kayaking and rafting site known as RiverSports Rapids, opened this spring.
Of the seven cities profiled the only one not in America is Medellin, Columbia. That's in South America, for you who skipped geography class. Being in South America, and with Columbia being a third world country, this town most closely matches Fort Worth, development wise, both politically and economically.
The blurb about Medellin's river renewal...
Medellin, a once broken city that has already reinvented itself through innovative urban projects like parks, squares, an aerial tram, and a green belt, is now completely rethinking its river. Like so many others, that waterway was channeled in concrete in the 1950s, a highway built right next to it. But now, following a competition-winning plan by Latitude, Workshop of Architecture and City, the city is burying a 1,300-foot-long stretch of that highway and building a park (Parques del Rio Medellin) on top, providing recreation and re-connecting the river to the rest of the city.
Okay, maybe Medellin is not as much of a third world type city as Fort Worth is, what with Medellin having successfully reinvented itself through multiple progressive projects, whilst Fort Worth really has not ever reached the stage where reinvention is a possibility.
I wonder if Medellin has indoor plumbing in its urban parks projects, or if it follows the Fort Worth third world type reliance on multiple outhouses?
Fort Worth is a town which finally installed a square in its downtown after decades of pointing the town's few tourists to a non-existent Sundance Square.
Maybe Fort Worth could send some sort of task force to Medellin, Columbia to try and learn how that town manages to get projects done without becoming an embarrassing boondoggle.
I suspect that that Fort Worth task force, upon inspecting how things get done in Medellin, will learn that Medellin's successful projects did not employ the unqualified son of a corrupt local politician, even though that is a third world type cliche....