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Uncovering the Potential of Peabody's Hidden North River: A Greenway for Social and Ecological Connectivity

Project Goal Demonstrating the opportunity to strengthen both urban and ecological qualities, this project has the goal to transform an old industrial corridor in downtown Peabody into a green corridor integrating stormwater management, habit restoration, recreational, and catalyst for urban development. The site’s location at the downstream end of existing creeks combined with its proximity to the Salem Sound makes this an extremely sensitive area to flooding events. This design proposal transforms this risk into an opportunity by restoring this former industrial site to its former function as a floodplain within the existing North River Watershed. In a phased process, businesses along the river corridor will be relocated to more suitable locations and reestablish the desecrated lands and channelized streams to a picturesque and healthy landscape. Elevated views along the urban edges will allow residents and visitors to look down into the meadow fields and the wetlands of the North River being as the central asset of the landscape. This project transforms this neglected landscape to a scenic urban ecological corridor to provide a more sustainable urban environment for downtown Peabody. Project Objectives The following four planning and design objectives are central for the success of this project. The first objective is a phased land use strategy that will relocate businesses along the North River floodplain and infilling them in other parts of downtown. The next objective is to improve the riparian health and beauty of North River through stream restoration, wetland restoration and recreating a landscape of the grassy meadows. The third objective is to provide a network of paths through the landscape and connect to the North River and a promenade along Walnut Street. The final objective is to restore the connection of downtown Peabody and the surrounding neighborhoods to the North River.