The City of Hopkins Artery Project received the People’s Choice Award at the American Society of Landscape Architecture – Minnesota Chapter’s annual banquet on Friday, April 28, 2023. The People’s Choice Award is given to the project that received the highest number of votes from the banquet attendees.
The concept of The Artery was to connect Hopkin’s city core, from Excelsior Boulevard and the new Hopkins Southwest Light Rail Station to the historic Mainstreet through an artful and sustainable design. This was also an opportunity to connect two regional bike trails to downtown Hopkins. Innovative design processes and outcomes featured input from the community, public works professionals, engineers, planners, urbanists, artists, and specialists.
The Artery’s design was built largely on public engagement. Through open houses, surveys, and tactical urbanism, attendees provided guidance to the design team on preferred elements, functions, and aesthetics for the project. The community desired a post-industrial aesthetic, which aligned with the city’s history as the birthplace of the Minneapolis Moline. The design team was able to prioritize desired elements to be integrated into the design through community surveys. The summer before final design work began, a hands-on test run showing the community how dramatic the design could be, manifested itself into a tactical urbanism weekend event branded as, ‘The Artery Experiment.’ This convinced the public officials and community to create something great and unique, not a standard streetscape that was stereotypically “historic”.
Rather than detached objects placed arbitrarily in the streetscape, art elements were selected intentionally to function as part of the public infrastructure. Through an RFP process, an art selection committee chose four public artists for commissioning artwork and installations along The Artery, which included a 20-foot-long aluminum dragonfly wing that can be raised and lowered to function as a road closure device during special events. Another piece of artwork is the “Night and Day” structure in the center of the corridor that functions as a shade canopy and creates a passive space for movable tables and chairs. In addition to commissioned art, local artists contributed designs for artistic screen panels to line portions of the corridor and henna tattoo designs integrated into paving.
The Artery is truly a manifestation of the end user’s vision. Throughout the project development and execution, The Artery was fully realized and has been widely loved and used by the community daily.
Learn more about The Artery and the vision behind this multidimensional project, here!