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 Waterfront Idea Makers

Waterfront Idea Makers announces People’s Choice and Open Competition award winners

The Waterfront Idea Makers, a program to reimagine the Old Sacramento Waterfront, has completed its contest portion and identified its winners.

The City of Sacramento in January had asked design firms and residents to submit ideas that would rethink what’s possible in the beloved historic district. Submissions were posted online, and the public was asked to vote for their favorite concept. Public voting ended at midnight on March 20 with more than 9,500 votes cast.

The contest produced two winners via popular vote. The People’s Choice award went to the design with the most votes. The Open Competition award went to the non-professional design with the most votes.

Professional design firm Perkins Eastman won the People’s Choice award.

The firm received 2,624 votes for its “SACTO H2O” concept, a “robust urban waterfront neighborhood that will honor the past, reflect today, and inspire the future.” The firm’s concept features several crowd-pleasing amenities, including public plazas and markets, a pier extending off K Street and a pedestrian bridge south of the Tower Bridge.

Perkins Eastman will be awarded $5,000.

Sacramento resident Craig Segall won the Open Competition award.

His submission, which received 419 votes, focused on removing or decking Interstate 5 to create better connectivity to the waterfront. According to his submission, “the freeway now renders the river invisible, cuts off historic neighborhoods, adds noise and air pollution, and forces the public into unwelcoming access tunnels, bridges, and ramps.”

Segall, a private attorney, lives in downtown Sacramento. He will be awarded $1,000 in prize money.

City staff now is evaluating all Waterfront Idea Makers submissions and will make a recommendation regarding project feasibility to the City Council in late April.




The Sacramento Waterfront Idea Makers program is an exciting opportunity for entrants to help the City of Sacramento reimagine the Old Sacramento Waterfront. Additionally, the City selected five teams  to generate imaginative concepts that enhance the area’s historic ambiance, aesthetic appeal, visitor experience and connectivity to the City. These teams are eligible for the $5,000 “People Choice” award determined through a popular vote.

The City, with input from residents and other stakeholders, ultimately will choose among the design concepts and select projects to implement.


Headed by Atlas Lab Inc., a women and minority owned architecture, urban design and public art house, the Atlas Team is comprised of seven firms:

Sacramento Waterfront Idea Makers: Sacramento's FRONT PORCH, Atlas Lab from Atlas Lab Inc on Vimeo.



Stantec brings experience from 400 offices worldwide and has partnered on projects in Sacramento, Calgary, and New York, to name a few. Stantec was established in 1954 and has background in design, engineering, science and project management.

Stantec - Waterfront Idea Makers - The Landing from Angela Tombolini on Vimeo.



With a focus on experiential design, The Hettema Group has worked with high-profile clients, including DreamWorks, Universal, Metro Goldwyn Mayer and Panasonic. Established in 2002, Hettema has completed projects in New York, Las Vegas and New Orleans.

Sacramento Riverfront THG from The Hettema Group on Vimeo.



Founded in 1981 in New York, Perkins Eastman has 11 offices in North America and four in Asia, Middle East-North Africa and South America. Multidisciplinary in nature, their projects specialize in civics, culture, large scale mixed-use, planning and urban design, and science and technology, among many others.

SACTO H2O: WATERFRONT IDEA MAKERS COMPETITION, Perkins Eastman from Perkins Eastman Videos on Vimeo.



The LPA / Hargreaves / RSM Team consists of LPA Design Studios, Hargreaves Associates and RSM.

Rediscovering The River from LPA on Vimeo.