King Parkway —
This design turned a utilitarian six-lane thoroughfare running through a major metropolitan downtown area into an aesthetically pleasing experience for both automobile and pedestrian travelers.
The first and foremost priority of this parkway is motor vehicle safety, as it is traveled daily by thousands of vehicles and serves as the main connection to the south side of Des Moines and the airport. Designers coordinated with other projects in the area to establish planting zones, assess the needs of both pedestrians and bicyclers, and analyzed the pathways entering the corridor. Once the functional aspects had been established, landscaping elements were added to unify the corridor and establish an identity. By creating rhythmical plantings along the parkway and emphasizing key intersections with corner developments, the parkway transformed into a unique and pleasurable experience.