Development Plans


Destination District & Taskforce

The Destination District is a 500-acre gateway area between the beltline and downtown, encompassing 200 acres of park and open space, the Alliant Energy Center grounds, and the corridors to South Park Street, and surrounding neighborhoods. The vision is to transform the area into a vibrant convening district and Southside lakefront park by: activating the lakefront and creating a destination park that incorporates the 200-acres of park and open space; creating a safe pedestrian-oriented district that ties public and private development into a unified district; seamlessly connecting Southside neighborhoods to the lake district and downtown; and significantly increasing tax base and community revenue while increasing activities for residents and visitors.

The Destination District Task Force, a group of dedicated public and private civic leaders, has come together to help ensure the advancement and coordinated implementation of the Destination District Vision and its many components. As part their efforts, they also work to ensure the recommendations from the multi-jurisdictional 2018 Destination District Vision & Strategy are considered and incorporated into ongoing City and County planning and implementation efforts.


Lake Monona Waterfront Preliminary Report

In 2019, the City of Madison Parks Division hired a multi-disciplinary consultant team led by SmithGroup to prepare a preliminary report for the Lake Monona Waterfront corridor. This pre-design document is the first phase of the planning initiative and is focused on developing base information for future planning work. The community engagement process utilized a multifaceted approach that included meetings with smaller takeholder groups, neighborhood associations, on-site intercept reviews, tabling at community festivals, online surveys and four community workshops (one held virtually due to COVID 19 restrictions). Outreach conveyed information on the planning area's history, previous planning efforts, current amenities and examples of how other municipalities are reconnecting with their waterfronts.

Lake Monona Waterfront Preliminary Report (9.4 MB)


John Nolen Drive Reconstruction

The John Nolen Drive reconstruction project will encompass a number of structural design improvements along the causeway between North Shore Drive and Olin Avenue. The project will include:

  • Reconstruction of six bridges along the causeway
  • Lane configuration and cross section changes
  • Expansion of the existing path to separate bike path and pedestrian facilities
  • Shoreline reconstruction along Lake Monona
  • Pedestrian and bike underpass between North Shore Drive and Broom Street
  • Reconstruction of storm sewer
  • Traffic signals and street lighting
  • Others to be determined through public involvement process

This project, scheduled for construction in 2026, will be planned and designed in coordination with the ongoing Lake Monona Waterfront redevelopment.

Photos courtesy of Kenton Fowler