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Milwaukee's Riverwalk wins international award

Posted at 9:36 AM, Nov 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-14 16:12:49-05

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee’s RiverWalk has won a 2017-2018 Global Award of Excellence from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). 

This award is considered among the world’s highest honors from land use experts. It is one of thirteen development projects in North America, Europe and Asia to receive this recognition. 

It also marks the first time a Wisconsin project has been named a Global Award of Excellence winner.  

“This award celebrates a great amenity in our City, and it also honors the people who have worked to make the RiverWalk such an asset,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “The RiverWalk continues to expand because it adds to property values, to the attractiveness of real estate near the river, and, most importantly, it adds to our quality of life.”

The RiverWalk is three miles long and extends along both sides of the Milwaukee River, from the site of the former North Avenue Dam, through Downtown and the Historic Third Ward to Lake Michigan. It is open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with access points located throughout the entire system.

“Milwaukee, situated on three rivers and Lake Michigan, had turned its back on the water.  So, over the past quarter-century, an aggressive plan was undertaken to build the RiverWalk and literally create a new environment for our residents and visitors,” Gary Grunau, long-time Chair of the Milwaukee Riverwalk District said.  “Under the present leadership of Mayor Tom Barrett we have enjoyed the same commitment of public support for the RiverWalk that was started under John Norquist.”

According to the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee RiverWalk system was launched in the late 1980’s with the goal of increasing public access and activity along the river.  The system is a public-private partnership between riverfront property owners and the City of Milwaukee.  In exchange for permanent public access, the City provides financial assistance for the construction of the private RiverWalk improvements.  Since its inception, property values along the RiverWalk have climbed by more than $1-billion.

A local celebration of the RiverWalk’s Global Award of Excellence is planned for early 2018.  

For more information on the Global Awards of Excellence, click here.