Great Rivers Greenway is leading a major public-private partnership to establish the conceptual plan for the Chouteau Greenway in St. Louis City through an international design competition and is requesting citizen input to help guide the process. The goal of the new greenway project is to connect the areas of Washington University and Forest Park east to Downtown and the Gateway Arch. The competition — led by architect Donald J. Stastny, FAIA, who managed the design competition for the CityArchRiver project — will officially kick off with the release of a Request for Qualifications in September.

In an effort to gather input from the community in advance of the design submissions, Great Rivers Greenway is recruiting community members to be a part of a 40-member Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) that will help provide vision and guidance for the Chouteau Greenway project.

Those who live or work in or visit the project area and residents of the region alike are encouraged to apply to be a part of the committee. CAC Members will provide and help collect input on the past and current conditions of the area and the desired future connections and destinations. Members should be able to envision what a dynamic, unique and memorable St. Louis greenway experience could feel like and inform the project team.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with community members and partners on a transformational vision that goes beyond our typical greenway project,” said Susan Trautman, CEO of Great Rivers Greenway. “This competition will explore how the Chouteau Greenway can connect people and places, provide equitable economic opportunity and options for people to get around town and live life outside.”

The Chouteau Greenway, plus connections to the north and south, will be part of the overall network of greenways being built by Great Rivers Greenway and partners. The greenway will connect area neighborhoods, employment centers, parks, transit and dozens of cultural and educational institutions. The competition invites designers to think beyond the trail itself to create active, vibrant spaces and destinations along the way. The goal is to have the greenway be a dynamic and unique St. Louis experience, similar to the High Line in New York City or the Atlanta Beltline.

The design competition is privately funded by Saint Louis University, Lawrence Group, Green Street St. Louis, Grand Center Inc., Forest Park Forever, Washington University in St. Louis, Washington University Medical Center, Arch to Park Collaborative, and the Great Rivers Greenway Foundation. Additional stakeholder groups are being formed to provide input throughout the process from a wide variety of partners, agencies, businesses and organizations.

The competition will kick off in September with a call for design teams to submit their qualifications. A jury of professionals will narrow the submissions down to four in early December. Those four teams will be paid a stipend to work on a conceptual design, presenting to the jury in the spring.

“Rooting the project’s goals and principles in the values of the community, and opening up the project to the international design community through a competition allows for the best of both worlds,” said Stastny, manager of the competition. “The intersection of local ideals and international best practices and perspectives will create a world-class experience for residents and visitors alike.”

Applications for the project’s Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) can be found on Great Rivers Greenway’s website. Those interested in being a part of the committee must be committed to attending a monthly meeting, from September 2017 through April 2018. CAC members will engage throughout the project to inform the teams, jury, partners and each other at various stages of the process. Transportation and childcare support are available, and food will be provided at each meeting. Meeting times and days will be set with the selected committee members. Great Rivers Greenway will also have surveys, outreach and events throughout the project to invite input both from those who live, work and play in the area as well as the region as a whole.

The first segment of the Chouteau Greenway is currently under construction as part of the TIGER grant project to build a new MetroLink station at the Cortex Innovation District. The competition and resulting conceptual design will help partners determine a plan and schedule for designing, engineering and building each additional portion of the overall greenway.

For more information about the project or to apply for the CAC, visit