Riverwalk Visioning

Through a U.S. EPA Brownfields grant, Weston & Sampson worked with the Peabody and Salem communities to produce a Riverwalk Visioning Study and a Riverwalk Conceptual Master Plan.

First settled in 1626, the economic and civic success of Massachusetts towns Peabody and Salem have been wholly dependent on the North River. Beginning in the late 19th century, the river itself was used for the production and disposal processes of the tanning, glue, shoe, textile, soap, gelatin, chocolate, and grain-milling industries, which resulted in significant contamination and water quality degradation. During and after World War II, the rising cost of immigrant labor, accessibility to foreign markets, environmental regulations, and suburbanization drove many tanneries to close, leaving the river plagued with large vacant parcels of under-utilized and potentially contaminated land that impacted the quality of life for town residents.

The Riverwalk Conceptual Master Plan seeks to generate a dynamic spine of green open space along the river, integrate with current plans for two brownfields parcels in Salem, and highlight areas of disconnected access where new segments of riverwalk should be created. The master plan becomes the ultimate shared resource that enables collaboration and cohesive visions between Peabody and Salem, and brings renewed focus to the North River corridor. Most importantly, this vision and master plan both realize the potential of the North River and its riverwalk as a catalyst and exemplary model for vibrant and healthy communities.



LOCATION: Peabody and Salem, MA

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