Rocky Branch Greenway Columbia, South Carolina
Community Planning and Design
Restoring an urban waterway into a community asset through a historic mill town.
"Greening America's Communities" is a federal program through EPA Smart Growth to help cities and towns develop an implementable vision of environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green infrastructure and other sustainable design strategies. MKSK, along with SBE consultant McCleod Landscape Architects, is helping the City of Columbia, South Carolina develop a smart growth policy for the Rocky Branch Greenway.
The Rocky Branch is overburdened due to development, historic channelization, and environmental degradation. Eroded banks, debris, and pollution decrease land values and have made it difficult for the public to envision how what has been a nuisance could become an attractive resource that provides environmental, public health, and community benefits. A revitalized Rocky Branch will be a tremendous asset and help catalyze additional revitalization in the area.
MKSK will work with the community to develop a plan and a vision to transform an important urban waterway, the Rocky Branch, in the Capital City Mill District. This area of the city has been experiencing significant change and development pressure from a resurgent city center and a growing university.
The area contains a diversity of uses from historic mill village neighborhoods and their respective textile mills, to student-oriented housing and a variety of lower-density commercial and light industrial businesses.