SERA provided urban design services to the City of Astoria for the development of a Vision Plan for approximately 4 miles of the City’s riverfront along the Columbia River. When Astoria was first settled in 1811 as a fur-trading post commissioned by John Jacob Astor, it became the first white settlement west of the Rockies. Since then, Astoria has grown considerably and been transformed several times due to fires and a changing economic base.
The immediate river edge consists of a mix of uses at varied densities, including residential, industrial, and the historic commercial/retail downtown. The riverfront is both a tourist destination, activity center, and a working waterfront. An existing trolley line and RiverWalk animate the riverfront and are used by residents and visitors to navigate and enjoy its full length.
The Vision Plan helped the City and its residents establish core values and goals to guide riverfront development for the next ten years. The Plan identified ways in which new and existing development and activities can reinforce the uniqueness of the City’s riverfront and add to those qualities of place that are important to Astorians. A rigorous public process with a wide range of stakeholders was critical in setting goals and confirming Core Values.