Omaha Riverfront Project Receives First Award of Its Kind in Nebraska

Omaha Riverfront Project Receives First Award of its Kind in Nebraska
The RiverFront (photo courtesy: MECA)

A nearly $300 million landscape overhaul in downtown Omaha is getting national recognition for its approach to environmental sustainability and resiliency.

The Riverfront Revitalization Project has earned the Envision® Platinum rating, the highest level possible from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. It is the first project in Nebraska to receive an Envision distinction.

The effort merges three downtown parks that span 90 acres. When completed in 2023, the area will include a lakeside amphitheater, an 82,000-square-foot science center, playground, urban beach, volleyball courts, dog park and dozens of other amenities to connect the community.

HDR is one of more than 20 companies working on the development. It is the lead Envision firm and is providing architectural, structural design, permitting, and civil and environmental engineering services. HDR is also the lead architect and engineer for what will be the riverfront’s science center, officially known as the Kiewit Luminarium.

Several factors led ISI to bestow their highest rating on the massive undertaking:

  • Having a best-in-class children’s environment and restoring community assets and local character
  • Stimulating sustainable growth and development by employing a large percentage of local workers
  • Preventing urban sprawl, adding bike lanes and bike-sharing facilities and implementing pedestrian mobility areas
  • Incorporating historic and cultural features
  • Adding a significant amount of public space and amenities
  • Preserving undeveloped land and remediating a brownfield

About Envision®: Envision is the product of a joint collaboration between ISI, which was founded by three national engineering associations: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and American Public Works Association (APWA), and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Information on ISI and Envision can be found on the ISI website,

About HDR: For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 10,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future. For more information, please visit