The Renovated Civic category features the use of existing structures for civic purposes. Sustainable qualities include, but are not limited to, the use of salvaged materials as well as sustainable building materials, utilization of energy-efficient technologies, and the adherence to historical preservation practices if applicable. Community-led projects or projects that combine various organizational efforts, as well as the inclusion of placemaking, walkability and accessible transportation aspects are also valued qualities.
The Renovated Civic Award goes to the City of Sioux City for its renovated Promenade. Prior to renovation, impervious and outdated surfaces covered the Promenade and hardscapes surrounded the historic Roth Fountain, all with compacted soil below the pavement. Additionally, the area received storm runoff from adjacent building rooftops, generating excessive amounts of runoff during even the smallest rainfall events. As a result, City was having issues with pavers heaving and ponding water from stormwater.
The updated Promenade is part of a larger downtown revitalization vision to provide enhanced gathering spaces for residents and visitors with multiple positive benefits to the social, natural, and built environment. One goal of the project was to rejuvenate the space while preserving the historic Roth Fountain, which serves as a centerpiece for the entire Promenade.
The renovated Promenade promotes local businesses, outdoor opportunities, efficient stormwater management, and responsible environmental stewardship. Low impact development demonstrates water quality best management practices and transforms the site into an urban oasis with trees, native plants, wayfinding and educational signage, pedestrian-friendly routes, site furnishings, and spaces to gather.
Approximately 50% of the impervious space was removed and replaced with pervious areas for water infiltration. Renovations in this challenging setting included replacing old concrete and aging pavers. Improvements also added a planting plan, new site furnishings, concrete seating wall, and increased greenspace. Sustainable landscape design practices include collecting stormwater from adjacent buildings and directing it into a series of bio-retention areas along the plaza, collecting water along the roadway via curb cuts and directing into the system for further treatment. Stormwater best management practices used include soil quality restoration, permeable pavers, native plantings, bioretention practices, and rainwater harvesting.
Education through different platforms have been realized since the renovation. The updated promenade promotes pedestrian instead of vehicular traffic, giving a unique sense of placemaking and contributing to active and healthy lifestyles. Stormwater management practices reduce stress on the built infrastructure. The Promenade improvement showcases the interdependence of the social, natural, and built environment.