Saint Paul Design Center

The Saint Paul Design Center is a collaboration between the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation and the City of Saint Paul. The purpose of the program is to enhance the quality of life in Saint Paul through promoting high-quality, sustainable urban design, based on principles outlined in the Saint Paul on the Mississippi Development Framework, Central Corridor Development Strategy and the Great River Passage.

How We Work
The Design Center engages projects through visioning, design review, outreach and urban design tool development. A core team of Riverfront Corporation and City staff conducts the work of the Center in a collaborative fashion, bringing engineers, architects, landscape architects, planners, economic developers and artists together to ensure the highest quality urban design.

When first established in 1997, the Design Center’s work focused on four square miles of downtown and the riverfront, as addressed in the Saint Paul on the Mississippi Development Framework. That same year, the Framework’s ten principles were adopted as city-wide policy by the Saint Paul City Council. Over the years the Design Center has assisted on a number of projects outside this four-square-mile core, at the invitation of the Mayor, City Councilmembers and community groups. In 2006, the Riverfront Corporation board of directors voted to apply the ten Framework principles along Saint Paul’s 17 miles of Mississippi River as a critical first step in  launching Saint Paul’s National Great River Park initiative. More recently, in 2007, the Mayor’s office asked the Design Center to guide and oversee creation of the Central Corridor Design Center to enhance planning and design of the Central Corridor Light Rail Line, extending from the city’s western border to the State Capitol complex.

Currently, the Design Center is focusing on 16 Urban Design Projects.