Planning for the future by creating a connected city
What is Discovery Walk?
Discovery Walk is a four-block linear parkway in downtown Rochester, MN along 2nd Avenue SW that will serve pedestrians as well as vehicle traffic. This multipurpose public space and streetscape is the first of its kind in Rochester. The vision for this project is to create a high amenity landscaped road and utility reconstruction project in the middle of downtown that prioritizes pedestrian experience while also maintaining flexibility for bike and vehicular access, civic events, and supports future development.
The Rochester City Council has approved plans to move forward with design development, engineering work and construction bidding for Destination Medical Center’s (DMC) Discovery Walk, a five-block linear parkway along 2nd Avenue SW in downtown Rochester that will serve pedestrians as well as vehicle access. The design process is led by Coen+Partners.
Though skylines are often the most recognizable feature of notable American cities, the activity taking place on the ground is where we find the human-to-human connections that make up the true heart of a community. Destination Medical Center – together with community leaders, business owners, engaged citizens, and the City of Rochester – is strategically exploring the best ways to nurture life and activity at street level.
“Discovery Walk” is the public realm that runs along four blocks of 2nd Avenue Southwest (from the Heart of the City at 2nd Street to Soldiers Field Park at 6th Street). The plan is to transform the underused and uninviting two-lane street into a tree-lined, multi-use linear parkway.
Cities across the country are exploring new and improved ways to design the streets and corridors that connect us to the places we live, work, and play. In downtown Rochester, DMC is looking at options to provide practical, safe, and appealing ways for everyone to move between the six sub-districts.
Most recently, designers for DMC have been focusing on the future of a four-block segment of Second Avenue SW. The corridor – which extends south from Heart of the City through Discovery Square and down to Soldiers Field – has been dubbed “Discovery Walk.”
“Connecting existing and future assets of downtown is essential,” says Patrick Seeb, director of economic development and placemaking for the initiative’s Economic Development Agency. “Discovery Walk will be an integral piece of the greater plan for the DMC District.”
Discovery Walk is among several downtown streets to be redesigned as part of the DMC initiative.