We know from the reception and other measures of success that innovation in public works and infrastructure projects is both important and attainable.
Yesterday, Ben Nielsen found true inspiration in an unlikely place: a public works conference! The occasion was the annual American Public Works Association conference, Colorado Chapter.
He spoke to the theme “Innovation in Public Works” with a multi-talented panel of presenters:
- Jerry Naranjo, Naranjo Civil Constructors whose firm is the contractor for recently-completed River Run Park
- Laura Kroeger, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District Manager
- Armando Silva, a local artist who has worked with Jerry on art installation in northern Colorado
They laid out a road map for pursuing new design concepts; facing and overcoming challenges; and persevering towards the payoff. In the case of River Run Park, the engineering, environmentally sound and community enhancement payoff has been a world-class recreational experience on the South Platte River that is suitable for surfing at even low flows.
The creative and unique approach that the team came up with to illustrate innovation using a live painting was really outside the box: as Ben and others highlighted the innovation that brought river surfing to the South Platte River, Armando completed two live paintings! His method was amazing, and being part of his process created a connection between creating art and MWDG making a recreation destination-based infrastructure improvement a reality on the South Platte.