Students help reconnect riverfront, downtown & region to revitalize Danville, IL

A newly approved plan is working to revitalize Danville, Virginia‘s riverfront.

The city council unanimously approved a plan for a riverfront project. The project was designed by University of Illinois students and will include trails, and pedestrian bridges to walk across the river. “We have a beautiful natural asset running right through our community and we have never taken advantage of that” said Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer.

The city hopes this project can connect the downtown area to the riverfront. “To put recreation, education, entertainment down along that riverfront will, I think draw more tourism to the community”said Mayor Eisenhauer. “And then the other really large component to this is taking the riverfront, which right now it has really been segregated from the rest of the community, and tie that into our arena, tie it into our downtown area and some of the structures in that downtown area that focus on entertainment and putting that together provides a synergy I don’t think we have ever had before.”

While the city grew up along its river, in recent decades the river has become less a part of Danville’s identity and community. The downtown and city has grown more disconnected from the riverfront physically and visually.

We are now presented with an opportunity to reconnect the city to its roots on the banks of the Vermilion River, as well as connecting Danville to the greater region.

The vision for this project will contribute to an improved quality of life for the city’s residents while acting as a catalyst for further investment in the adjacent downtown area. This project will provide increased recreational amenities for the community, be a driver for tourism, provide health and wellness benefits, and present additional environmental education opportunities.

The design and conceptual plan are in the process of being developed through a partnership with the University of Illinois Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning Departments. An exhibition was held on December 9, 2016 to present design concepts to the public.

See full WAND-TV article & news video.

See City of Danville’s riverfront information & photo credit.

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