Following in the footsteps of groundbreaking projects across the country and around the globe, the Western New York Land Conservancy embarked on a community based process to reimagine a new public space on a former rail line southeast of downtown Buffalo.

Make Communities served as vision plan consultant for the Land Conservancy, helping to direct public engagement efforts, best practice and case study comparisons  and authoring a final report outlining the vision that emerged from hundreds of conversations and community based voices.

“In this unique slice of Buffalo’s heritage, this community vision plan imagines a place where families will be able to take a relaxing stroll or ride their bikes surrounded by trees and wildflowers. Neighbors and visitors will be able watch as seasons change, from the fall migration of songbirds and monarch butterflies, to winter’s chilly serenity and summer’s warm embrace, marveling at the diversity of nature, our industrial and railroad heritage, and the magic of a sunset on the Buffalo River. Here, with the right investments and connectivity, vitality will return to local commercial districts and streets will become safer and more inviting for everyone. Thoughtful stewardship will breathe new life and new possibilities into this long dormant space — not just for today but for generations to come.”

Make Communities has since collaborated on the additional project steps, including an international design ideas competition, neighborhood based programming, a short film by Paget Films and branding and identity work by Block Club. An RFP for design services and equitable development strategies planning are currently underway.

Read more about the project on the new website of The Riverline  or download the full Community Vision Plan here.