Reimagine this Rust Belt Corridor as a Multi-Use Urban Nature Trail & Greenway
Bring your biggest and best ideas to this 1.5-mile abandoned elevated rail corridor in Buffalo, New York.
Deadline for submissions: February 15, 2019 5PM
The Western New York Land Conservancy has invited designers, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and artists to submit visionary concepts to a juried competition laying the groundwork to transform the abandoned, 1.5-mile elevated DL&W rail corridor connecting Buffalo’s downtown with its waterfront through three distinct and historic neighborhoods.
On the edge of downtown Buffalo, wildlife is reclaiming an unused rail corridor. This former rail line runs for a mile and a half on an elevated berm though the center of Buffalo’s industrial past, connecting the city’s history with the future of the communities along its length. Called the DL&W rail corridor, it travels from Canalside and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) train sheds at the DL&W terminal in downtown Buffalo to the Buffalo River across from the new Tesla solar panel manufacturing facility at Riverbend. The corridor runs through the Old First Ward, Perry, and Valley neighborhoods. The entire corridor, except for the streets that cross it, is currently owned by the NFTA. The NFTA-owned parcels total approximately 40 acres.
Like many “rust belt” cities, these communities and Buffalo as a whole experienced a decline in the latter half of the 1900s. Shipping routes and methods changed, industry closed, and people left. The Old First Ward and Valley neighborhoods experienced population decline and abandonment. The Perry neighborhood, likewise, faced both substantial physical transformation and disinvestment. The Buffalo River was left polluted and inaccessible.
This Design Ideas Competition is the next step in reimagining the DL&W corridor, following the work of community leaders, residents, planners, and advocates who have championed the potential of this site for years.
The new nature trail and greenway will be an inspiring community gathering place alive with the history and voice of the surrounding neighborhoods. More than just a trail, the reimagined rail corridor will be a vibrant, safe, and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to connect with each other, with nature, and with the waterfront, throughout the year. The nature trail and greenway will be the focal point of a revitalized community and a restored ecosystem.
Additional information regarding the goals and intended outcomes and disclaimers for the Design Ideas Competition are available in the Competition Brief (PDF).
Participants must register to enter the competition. Registration is free. Detailed information regarding the project site and background is available for registered participants. Teams should register using the instructions at the bottom of this page.
Monetary awards are available for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the juried competition and will be judged anonymously. An award will also be given to the community choice, selected with resident input
Those wishing to participate in the Design Ideas Competition are required to register by sending an email to email@example.com. Please include your name, email address, design team name, and phone number. Once your registration is received, we will send you a password to access the information page for participants. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (716) 687-1225.
Learn more on the competition website here: https://wnylc.org/dlw-design