Twin Cities: St. Joseph-Benton Harbor 2018-2020
Project background and rationale
The goal of this project is to assist the City of St. Joseph, the City of Benton Harbor, and the Charter Township of St. Joseph in developing long-term sustainable strategies to maximize the benefits of their harbor and waterfront assets.
Community meetings and discussions have led to a shared vision for the Twin Cities Harbor. This vision is important for the community and its future because it is constructed by all affected parties and is a compilation of everyone’s ideas and voices. The implementation of this shared vision will increase public confidence, participation, and support in the community as well as economic, cultural, social, and environmental community sustainability, adding value to the harbor.
Phase 1 – Research, outreach, charrette preparation
During an initial visioning meeting (September 19, 2018), attendees weighed in on the future of the Twin Cities waterfront. Community members helped identify assets linked to existing or potential public waterfront uses and/or facilities.
July – September 2018
- Gather existing documents, make presentations to local commissions, host facilitated focus groups, and plan for the charrette.
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Commission Intro Presentation (PDF)
Phase 2 – Charrette process
The team then followed up with a three-day design charrette to reflect on the communities shared vision (October 9-11, 2018). The charrette concluded with a “work in progress” presentation to summarize the proposed vision for the Twin Cities future waterfront.
While the presentation linked below represents the “preferred” vision based on the community feedback over the past month, and more significantly, the past three days (Oct 9 – Oct 11), the harbor/waterfront plan depicted in the presentation is not the “final” shared vision for the harbor. There will be additional opportunities for comment and revision as the team transitions into the next phase of the project. In addition, the images in the presentation are representative sketches or renderings from the design team to demonstrate the iterative design process. The images included are not all encompassing of the work produced during the charrette and should not be construed as final.
Host multiple community engagement meetings at Kinexus, 499 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI.
- September 19, 6 – 8 p.m.
Initial Harbor Vision Workshop | Initial Visioning Meeting (PDF)
- October 9, 6 – 8 p.m.
Harbor Design Workshop | Introduction Presentation, October 9 (PDF)
- October 10, 6 – 8 p.m.
Harbor Options Open House | Build Your Own City Exercise (PDF)
- October 11, 4 – 6 p.m.
Preferred Option Presentation | “Work In Progress” Community Presentation (PDF)
Phase 3 – Post-charrette
November 2018 – January 2020
Community engagement meetings at Kinexus, 499 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI.
- Tuesday, October 15, two sessions : 4–5:30 p.m. and 7–8:30 p.m.
- Final Community Presentation (PDF)
- Preferred Alternative – Version 4 (PDF)
- Twin Cities Harbor Vision 2040 Public Input Summary (PDF)
January 2020 Community Presentations
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Revitalization: Benton Harbor (PDF)
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Revitalization: St. Joseph (PDF)
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Revitalization: St. Joseph Charter Township (PDF)
Community Harbor/Waterfront Vision
The documents linked below represent the “preferred” future vision based on community input over the duration of the project. The proposed land use plans and renderings are based on input from hundreds of community members during dozens of meetings. The harbor/waterfront vision that emerged from this project should not be construed as a comprehensive master plan. Any long-term planning or future development within the project area would remain under local control.
- Twin Cities St. Joseph Preferred Alternatives and Renderings (PDF)
- Twin Cities Benton Harbor Preferred Alternatives and Renderings (PDF)
- Twin Cities Complete Harbor Vision 2040 v5 (PDF)
In the news
- Twin cities sustainable harbor project seeks input from the community, October 10, 2018
- Benton Harbor hosts open house to showcase upcoming riverfront designs, October, 10, 2018
- Connecting the dots: SJ-BH waterfront meetings continue tonight, Thursday, October 10, 2018
- Share Your Opinion About “A SHARED VISION”, October 1, 2018
The Benton Spirit
- Downtown, harbor studies on tap for St. Joseph/Benton Harbor, September 11, 2018
What is a charrette?
A design charrette is a facilitated planning process that is open to the public. Participants offer ideas for amenities and improvements they feel would generate more waterfront activity and improve their community. The Twin Cities Harbor Visioning Charrette process will include multiple visits to the community including an initial visioning meeting, a multi-day series of public design sessions where the project team facilitates community discussion and stakeholder meetings, and a final presentation to the community.
The projected outcome of the Twin Cities Harbor Visioning Charrette is that the community, stakeholders, and local units of government will have worked together to create a strategy for implementing a shared harbor vision that will lead to a vibrant and prosperous community.
Final Project Documents
Community Planning Meeting, June 2018
Initial Community Commission Presentations, August 2018
Initial Community Visioning Meeting, September 19, 2018
Focus Group and Technical Meetings
Charrette, October 9-11, 2018
Interim Stakeholder Meetings
Final Community Meeting Presentations
September 2019 Governance Retreat
October 2019 Governance Retreat
Final Presentations to City Commissions and Township Board of Trustee, January 2020
Special Joint Meeting, January 22, 2020
Sign In Sheets
We are sensitive to the privacy of those who attended harbor planning sessions. The sign-in sheets for those meetings are available but only by request. To access them we ask that you separately request the sign-in sheet(s) you are interested in. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (269) 925-1137 ext.1521