Smale Riverfront Park
All Entries > Landscape Architecture
Smale Riverfront Park is a 32-acre park along the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati. The largest in a series of public parks along the river, the park provides a dynamic foreground for two professional sports venues, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and a mixed-use neighborhood referred to as The Banks. The project, sponsored by the City of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Park Board, Cincinnati Recreation Commission and the Department of Public Works, part of an ambitious $1,000,000,000 redevelopment of Cincinnati's riverfront, focused on three main goals: creating a grand civic space open to the public; offering pedestrians river accessibility both visually and physically; and setting aside specific areas to accommodate events and festivals. The park’s many and varied features—including fountains, walkways, gardens, event lawns, playgrounds and restaurants—contribute to the emotional and physical health of its citizens; to the economic vitality of the region and to the exceptional quality of life and experience to be cultivated and enjoyed throughout the area. The riverfront park completes a necklace of open spaces on the river, links statewide recreation trail and bike systems and reconnects the heart of downtown Cincinnati to the great Ohio River. The park design creates an appropriate setting for the Roebling Bridge—a historically significant architectural icon—along with areas for large gatherings, passive recreation and programmed events.