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Boston-based firm to design Chouteau Greenway

Boston-based design firm Stoss Landscape Urbanism will lead the design of the proposed Chouteau Greenway, a network of trails and green spaces that would connect Forest Park to the Gateway Arch. The firm beat three other finalists in an eight-month-long competition.

Stoss will head a team of urban planners and architects from around the country to build the greenway for Great Rivers Greenway, the public agency that directs regional development of parks, trails and green spaces. Over the next few months, the team will finetune its concept and research potential partners and funders.

That part of the process could wrap up as soon as mid-July, according to Great Rivers Greenway Vice President of Communications & Outreach Emma Klues. Next would be deciding the project’s scope, timeline and budget.

Stoss’ “The Loop + The Stitch” proposal aims to connect north and south St. Louis to the east-west pathway with a network of trails and green spaces, according to a statement submitted with the design proposal in April.

The design plan proposes to link the “spectacular icons and histories” between Washington University and the Gateway Arch while “stitching” in “the everyday authenticity of St. Louis” neighborhoods.

“Where the Loop connects civic icons and current investments, the Stitch reaches into the north and south communities to reinforce inclusion and equity,” the team wrote.

The proposal was selected by a committee of urban design experts and St. Louisans. The committee praised the plan’s “strong spine and east/west connections” and team leadership full of “chemistry” and “design talent” in their report but noted that the concept diagram “seems to over promise north/south actions.”

The jurors also noted that the proposal contained plausible ways to integrate vacant lots, St. Louis history and the city’s cultural experiences with the design concept.

Follow Kae on Twitter: @kmaepetrin

Kae Petrin covers public transportation and housing as a digital reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.