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Forum editorial: Floodwall design visionary

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Fargo has evolved to a point where the aesthetics and utility of public projects are not in conflict. The latest evidence of that mature ethic is in the approved design of a permanent downtown floodwall. Instead of nondescript vertical slabs of concrete, brick and steel, the wall features design and landscapes that will enhance the city’s urban core for generations.

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It likely will be more expensive initially. But an investment of such magnitude and importance should not pinch pennies by scrapping visionary architectural amenities. The proposed design avoids that mistake, and instead incorporates attractive materials for the wall itself with greenway trails, undulating prairie and accesses to the Red River. The park-like development along the wall will be another downtown pedestrian-friendly public space.

Work on a portion of the project will begin this summer. Completion will take time, but the wait will be well worth it. And there are sure to be tweaks and changes as work proceeds. But, when done, the wall and associated amenities will be another showplace of smart urban design in Fargo, not unlike the nearby Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Good work by architects, designers, city staff and city commissioners.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

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