Through his involvement with the University of Minnesota’s Metropolitan Design Center, Mic Johnson served as lead urban designer for the proposed St. Paul River Balcony – a new pedestrian corridor that connects major urban destinations in downtown Saint Paul, including the Lowertown neighborhood, Union Depot, and Kellogg Park, with the Science Museum/River Center/Xcel Energy Center complex. Its goal is to better integrate the city’s built fabric with the Mississippi River, provide a year-round attraction for residents and visitors alike, and to catalyze and support development that will transform the downtown community. This project required balancing the interests of multiple public and private stakeholders – including city departments, the regional rail authority, the heritage preservation commission, private developers, corporations such as District Energy St. Paul, and non-profit entities such as the Science Museum of Minnesota. Mic Johnson worked closely with the client team to help navigate this process, including leading primary stakeholder presentations with an intent to reach consensus and keep the project moving forward. The River Balcony master plan was adopted by the City Council as an amendment to the Great River Passage Plan in June 2017.
Location: Saint Paul, MN