2011 Great Places in America: Public Spaces-Milwaukee RiverWalk, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee RiverWalk was planned as a down-to-earth public space where residents could take peaceful walks, dine outdoors, and access the river. It has been more successful than anyone involved with the unique public-private initiative ever imagined. The RiverWalk is thronged with pedestrians taking advantage of a cleaner river and fresh air. Photo courtesy of the Department of City Development.