The Innovative Cities Lecture Series

Watch the lecture Creating a Vibrant Waterfront: Measuring Progress in the Harbor District and Defining Goals for the Next Phase presentation by Melony Pederson and Natalia Hernandez

Lecture Summary

What were the goals at the outset of communal reinvestment in the Harbor District and what does the next chapter look like? Ms. Hernandez and Ms. Pederson will showcase a few of the projects that have been developed and illustrate future plans for the district. A key part to the area’s shift is creating an equitable waterfront and ensuring stakeholders are aligned on that vision.


Melony Pederson has over sixteen years of experience designing and managing projects all over the country. She’s had the opportunity to work for large architecture firms, boutique design firms and independently throughout her career. In her dedication to helping create a more equitable, healthy and sustainable built environment she shifted to development work after graduating from the University of Washington’s MSRE program after which she worked to create attainable housing within America’s largest land conservancy. Outside of the development world she’s an active member in her community previously serving on City Council for Sumner, WA as well as several boards and has a true passion for sustainability. Melony moved back to the Milwaukee after spending sixteen years in the Seattle area and excited to continue working on the built environment in her hometown.

Natalia Hernandez joins our staff as the Outreach Specialist for Harbor District, Inc. Her role is to inform and engage nearby residents, community members, and other stakeholders in the development of the Harbor District as well as managing events and programming. Natalia has led the public input process for the section of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk that will run from E. Greenfield Avenue to S. Kinnickinnic Ave. She works with various community groups to activate the Harbor District’s first waterfront park, Harbor View Plaza and spearheads planning for Harbor Fest. In her spare time, Natalia serves on the Advisory Board for The Kellogg PEAK Initiative. She also helps run her parent’s grocery store/carry-out restaurant located on Milwaukee’s South Side. She is a strong advocate for community inclusion and believes in the amazing outcome that will come out of the revitalization of the Harbor.

AICP-CM credits will be awarded.

Questions, comments?

All lectures are free and open to planners, students, staff, faculty, and friends of the University. Please contact Jennifer Tasse , Department of Urban Planning Project Assistant at