Innovation That Matters

Origin Park will include several climate adaptive features | Photo source River Heritage Conservancy

A climate resilient park rehabilitates industrial riverfront

Architecture & Design

The redesign reforests vacant and derelict land and makes the river accessible

Spotted: Origin Park is an ambitious, inspirational redesign of 650 waterfront acres in southern Indiana. Conceived by the River Heritage Conservancy, the park is being designed and built by well-known urban architect firm OLIN. Previously a wasteland of industrial junkyards, abandoned rail lines and overgrown vacant lots, the completed oasis will include a boat and kayak launch, event centre, ranger station, many kilometres of mixed-use trails, and a variety of landscapes explicitly supporting biodiversity and promoting environmental resiliency.

Walkways will become paddle ways should the river level rise, which it is expected to do in the next 50 years. A paved bike loop is raised to allow for additional environmental changes. Reforestation and rewilding across the site will restore animal and insect diversity and provide millions of visitors with the ability to witness the changing of the seasons firsthand.

An outdoor adventure centre, public art and event spaces make the park a multi-use community asset. The range of pathways allows for a wide variety of outdoor activities, and educational components encompassing the area’s social and cultural history will be spread throughout the park.

From removing concrete to using AI to track growth, sustainable resource management is increasingly including new technologies and sensibilities. 

Written by: Keely Khoury



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