Sasaki Associates

The concept: to provide the kind of swimmable setting found in quieter river locales.

In case you need another reason to visit Chicago — you know, besides the baseball, deep-dish pizza, and amazing architecture — the city is expanding its waterfront area. The city recently unveiled concept plans for six new blocks of its riverwalk, which include cool features like floating gardens, space for recreational activities, and access to many of the Windy City's famous landmarks.

The new plans will compliment the riverwalk’s first phase, completed in 2009. The formidable design team, announced a couple weeks ago, includes Sasaki Associates, Alfred Benesch & Co., Ross Barney Architects, and Jacobs/Ryan Associates. Their concept: to provide the kind of swimmable, fishable setting found in quieter river locales in the heart of a bustling city. Intrigued?

However, funding is not yet in place for the project. According to NBC Chicago:

The Chicago Department of Transportation submitted a letter of interest to the U.S Department of Transportation for project funding through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act. Emanuel said the city also will pursue sponsorship opportunities for maintenance and operations of new facilities.  

First stop on the new and improved riverfront: The Jetty, which will offer a serene setting of fishing piers and floating gardens.

The next block of the river will be the Swimming Hole, where children can play in the fountain during those humid summer months.

Next up: Take a seat and enjoy the scenery in The River Theater, which will link the waterfront area to the upper main street side of Wacker Drive. Photo via The Huffington Post

Further along the riverfront, the Cove will offer more recreational activities, including kayaking and motorized boating!

After all of that fun, a welcoming assembly of restaurants and alternative seating will await you at the Marina.

Images: courtesy of Sasaki Associates

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

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