Shoal Creek Park Improvements
MWM DesignGroup provided planning and design services for improvements to an extension of Shoal Creek Park as a component of the planning for the New City Central Library project. These improvements serve as a key component of the broader redevelopment of the Seaholm and Green Water Treatment Plant sites, a visionary project introducing pedestrian, bicycle and open-space elements as integral components of a renewed downtown district. Work on this project exemplifies the benefits of successfully integrating disparate projects into a single plan of development, as well as MWM DesignGroup’s expertise in managing this integration.
The project includes the extension of 2nd Street from West Avenue to the Green Water Treatment Plant Development (GWTP) including a new bridge for the crossing at Shoal Creek and the development of the park adjacent to the New Library. The area is currently being transformed by the decommissioning of the GWTP, the Library, Seaholm Development and renovations to the Seaholm Substation and Shoal Creek. Design for 2nd Street closely follows the City of Austin Great Streets Program, utilizing many of the materials, furnishings, and plantings consistent with the existing 2nd Street District. However, some modifications of the Great Streets typology were required to fit the unique circumstances surrounding the development of this and several adjacent projects. The project includes the development of 2nd Street as a Festival Street (Woonerf) so the street may be closed during special events and transformed into a pedestrian mall. Design of the street involves coordination between various stakeholders including multiple city departments (Austin Energy, Watershed Protection, Public Works, Library Services, AIPP), consultants (artists, engineers, architects), the project construction manager at risk and local developers. Some of the features of the streetscape and park include amphitheater, specialty paving, pedestrian lighting, native landscaping and reclaimed water for irrigation.
This project exemplifies the manner in which parks can be successfully integrated into an urban environment, to the benefit of project stakeholders.