Honor Award Winner

Project Name:  Renard Island Strategic Master Plan 
Location:  Green Bay, Wisconsin
Design Team:  SmithGroup

Renard Island is a 55-acre, man-made island located in southern Green Bay at the mouth of the Fox River that represents a significant opportunity for waterfront access, recreation, and habitat benefiting the greater Green Bay community. This Strategic Master Plan outlines a vision for the island which has sat unoccupied since it was closed as a confined disposal facility (CDF) in 1997 and capped in 2015. It is an extremely rare opportunity to shape and provide new, large-scale waterfront open space for a mature and diverse urban metropolitan area. 

This plan was created through a rigorous and focused process that engaged stakeholders, regulators, adjacent property owners, and interested public citizens with the purpose of coming together to determine a path for the island that represents the values and needs of the community. The plan’s goals, objectives and ultimately its physical form were developed using a values-based approach that balanced the four pillars of sustainability (Economic, Ecological, Social, and Human Spirit). The process was transparent, and the words were their own, building a level of trust and community buy-in that was essential to the client. To maintain a high level of defensibility, the goals were weighted and then used for scoring during the alternatives evaluation process to determine which alternative best achieved all the project’s aspirations. 

The final plan artfully weaves together ecological enhancements, landforms, a variety of places to explore, and active marina and retail/concessions facilities focusing on revenue generation to support implementation and operations and maintenance funding. It aims to convert this former environmental challenge into a community-based regional open space resource that is a beacon of health, wellness and lakefront vitality.