Buffalo Bayou Art Park, Houston: Art Park Doors photo from Gorski & Aulbach essay
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
One way out of the morass is to scrutinize other cities' solutions to similar problems. I call upon the Times to send out a reporter - is there a local TV station who would consider this a worthy project? ha - to find cities with similar resources and problems.
River bank policy research ought to additionally assay the recently aired pedestrian bridge idea.
Project SB, a five-day panel study conducted recently by Urban Land Institute Advisory Services with the Northwest Louisiana Association of Realtors, proferred the pedestrian bridge idea, among many.
My inspiration for Red River bank development comes from Houston. Crawling through downtown Houston is a green, muddy channel called Buffalo Bayou. It is incongrous given the high-dollar developments above it: nifty bridges, office towers, concert halls, mini-parks, rapid rail terminals, etc. But alongside it runs an item that you and I could imitate: a series of funky art installations set in the grassy neutral ground. It's called Buffalo Bayou Art Park.
The art includes some of the bronze geometric pieces that we expect in public art. But a lot of it is folksy stuff, such as a gigantic alligator convincingly constructed from old auto tires. It all seems vandal proof, by the way.
1) Lobby the city to set boundaries for the motorized vehicles that are chomping the near-downtown banks of the Red. Create a more clearly-defined family use region.
2) Promote discussion of the pedestrian bridge idea.
3) Make long range plans for an art park along the Red.
The Project SB report is very readable, having been prepared for a powerpoint-type presentation: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/assets/pdf/D926669428.PDF.
Research Buffalo Bayou Art Park, too. If you haven't walked it, someone you know probably has. And let me know your thoughts.