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. The project team also facilitated a series of meetings to assist the communities with development of a co-governance model to support revitalization of the shared harbor.
Final Project Documents
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Strategy
- Final Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Process Timeline
- Final Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Project Report, March 31, 2020
Community Planning Meeting, June 2018
In June 2018, the Office of the Great Lakes, with the Harbor Conservancy and the project team, hosted a planning workshop to co-create the community engagement charrette process. With support from the National Charrette Institute, preliminary parameters for the Twin Cities visioning process and study area were established and critical stakeholders from each community were identified.
- DRAFT St Joseph Benton Harbor Guiding Principles
- Pre-Populated Draft Goals for Charrette Workshop
- Twin Cities Harbor Visioning Workshop – Stakeholder Analysis, Engagement, and Road Map
- Twin Cities Charrette Study Area Map
Phase 1 – Research, outreach, charrette preparation, July – September 2018
The process included presentations to community leadership, an initial community visioning session (September 19, 2018), a series of focus groups (September 2018 – October 2019), and technical meetings (October 2018 – January 2019). At the 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. In addition, a series of focus groups were held to engage stakeholders.
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Commission Intro Presentation
- Initial Harbor Visioning Workshop Presentation, September 19
Focus Group and Technical Meetings
- Twin Cities Commercial Meeting Notes 10-1-2018
- Twin Cities Environmental Meeting Notes 09-25-2018
- Twin Cities Residential Meeting Notes 09-24-2018
- Ministerial Focus Group 10-2019
- TCSHI Ministerial Alliance Meeting PowerPoint 06-10-2019
- Focus Group Detailed Agenda
- Focus Group Agenda
- Focus Groups Final Report
Phase 2 – Charrette process, October 9–11, 2018
The team then followed up with a three-day design charrette to reflect on the communities shared vision. 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 from the charrette process, the harbor/waterfront plan depicted in the presentation is not the “final” shared vision for the harbor. There were 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. Community meetings where hosted at Kinexus, 499 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI.
- Twin Cities Harbor Sustainability Design Charrette Schedule
- Initial Visioning Meeting, September 19
- Introduction Presentation, October 9
- Build Your Own City Exercise, October 10
- Work In Progress Community Presentation, October 11
Phase 3 – Post-charrette, November 2018 – January 2020
The Post-Charrette Process included municipal stakeholder meetings (February – March 2019), community presentations (June – October 2019), governance meetings (September 2019 –January 2020), and presentations to municipal leadership (December 2019 – January 2020).
Interim Stakeholder Meetings
- TC Sustainable Harbor BH Stakeholder Group Invitation 03-22-2019
- TC Sustainable Harbor BH Stakeholder Group Meeting Agenda
- TC Sustainable Harbor SJ Stakeholder Group Invitation 03-26-2019
- TC Sustainable Harbor SJ Stakeholder Group Meeting Agenda
- TC Sustainable Harbor SJT and Berrien Co Stakeholder Group Meeting Agenda
- Twin Cities Work in Progress Preferred Alternative January 2019 V2
- Twin Cities Harbor Charrette Vision Map 04-2019
Tuesday, October 15, two sessions
- Final Community Presentation
- Twin Cities Harbor Charrette Vision Map 10-2019 V4
- Twin Cities Harbor Vision 2040 Public Input Summary
January 2020 Community Presentations
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Revitalization: Benton Harbor
- Resolution – Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Project 1-6-2020 Benton Harbor
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Revitalization: St. Joseph
- Resolution – Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Project 1-13-2020 St Joseph City
- Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Revitalization: St. Joseph Charter Township
- Resolution – 1-2020 Twin Cities Sustainable Harbor Project 1-6-2020 Township
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
- Twin Cities Benton Harbor Preferred Alternatives and Renderings
- Twin Cities Complete Harbor Vision 2040 v5
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
The process included two governance meetings with multi-jurisdictional representatives to discuss options for a shared governance structure to support effective implementation of future harbor revitalization and long-term harbor maintenance.
Governance Retreat, September 2019
- Invitation Letter TCHSI 8-13-2019
- Twin Cities Harbor Government Retreat Summary 09-20-2019
- TBG Retreat Goals and Agenda Draft 09-20-2019
- TCHSI Process One-Pager Timeline Draft 09-2019
Governance Retreat, October 2019
Special Joint Meeting, January 22, 2020
- Special Joint Meeting Presentation
- Final Agenda – Special Joint Meeting 01-22-2020
- Resolution 2 – 2020 Joint Special Meeting 1-20-2020 Benton Harbor
- Resolution 2 – 2020 Joint Special Meeting 1-20-2020 St Joseph City
- Resolution 2- 2020 Joint Special Meeting 1-20-2020 Township
- The Process of a Sustainable Small Harbors
- Spring Southwest Michigan Leadership Council Summit Harbor Presentation 2019
- Twin Cities Sustainable Small Harbor Planning Flyer
- Twin Cities Harbor Visioning Communication Plan
- Twin Cities Harbor Preferred Plan Refinement Engagement Strategy 01-10-2019
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: email@example.com or (269) 925-1137 ext.1521