Waterfront Idea Makers announces People’s Choice and Open Competition award winners

The Waterfront Idea Makers, a program to reimagine the Old Sacramento Waterfront, has completed its contest portion and identified its winners.

The City of Sacramento in January had asked design firms and residents to submit ideas that would rethink what’s possible in the beloved historic district. Submissions were posted online, and the public was asked to vote for their favorite concept. Public voting ended at midnight on March 20 with more than 9,500 votes cast.

The contest produced two winners via popular vote. The People’s Choice award went to the design with the most votes. The Open Competition award went to the non-professional design with the most votes.

Professional design firm Perkins Eastman won the People’s Choice award. The firm received 2,624 votes for its “SACTO H2O” concept, a “robust urban waterfront neighborhood that will honor the past, reflect today, and inspire the future.” The firm’s concept features several crowd-pleasing amenities, including public plazas and markets, a pier extending off K Street and a pedestrian bridge south of the Tower Bridge.

Founded in 1981 in New York, Perkins Eastman has offices in North America as well as in Asia, the Middle East-North Africa and South America. Multidisciplinary in nature, the company incorporates civic and cultural elements into its projects, as well as mixed-use planning, urban design, science and technology.

Perkins Eastman will be awarded $5,000.

Sacramento resident Craig Segall won the Open Competition award. His submission, which received 419 votes, focused on removing or decking Interstate 5 to create better connectivity to the waterfront. According to his submission, “the freeway now renders the river invisible, cuts off historic neighborhoods, adds noise and air pollution, and forces the public into unwelcoming access tunnels, bridges, and ramps.”

Segall, a private attorney, lives in downtown Sacramento. He will be awarded $1,000 in prize money.

City staff now is evaluating all Waterfront Idea Makers submissions and will make a recommendation regarding project feasibility to the City Council in late April.