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Discovery Walk

Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Institutional
Pedestrian parkway brings vibrancy to previously car-centric downtown core

Discovery Walk transforms a car-centric public street in the center of downtown Rochester, Minnesota near the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. Extending from the center of downtown Rochester through Discovery Square, south to Soldier’s Field and on to Rochester’s City Loop, this project reimagines the street as a green parkway serving pedestrians and cyclists alike.

Rochester, MN
Destination Medical Center, City of Rochester
Latent Design, Kimberly Horn
<25 acres

The site design for this four-block segment of Second Ave SW emphasizes flexibility for vehicular access, civic events, and future development, but prioritizes the pedestrian experience above all. We envision this project as a pedestrian oasis—a place to lunch or work outside over coffee, for families to bring children to fountains in the summer and swings in the winter, and for residents to walk their dogs and engage with neighbors.

The conversion of Discovery Walk from a street to a pedestrian-oriented parkway necessarily transforms downtown Rochester into an inviting and livable space, establishing a much-needed connection between scattered, disparate destinations near the downtown core. This amenity supports future investment, urban growth, and continued public interest along the corridor, and reinforce Rochester’s growing identity as a city for health, wellness, and innovation.