The Western New York Land Conservancy has launched an international ideas contest to rethink a disused 2.4km stretch of railway in the upstate city of Buffalo
The competition is open to designers, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and artists, and seeks ‘visionary’ proposals to transform the abandoned DL&W Corridor into a new $21 million multi-use urban nature trail and greenway.
The call for concepts aims to identify ‘creative ideas and practical solutions’ for the overgrown former rail line which crosses three historic neighbourhoods and connects Buffalo’s downtown with its post-industrial waterfront.
According to the brief, the 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 neighbourhoods.
‘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 revitalised community and a restored ecosystem.’
The Western New York Land Conservancy focuses on protecting and promoting natural landscapes across the state of New York – including the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, and Appalachian Mountains.
The DL&W corridor – named after the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad Company – formerly connected Buffalo to Hoboken in New Jersey but has been disused since the mid-19th century. Today the remains of the line include a 2.4km embankment linking the Canalside district with the Buffalo River.
The contest aims to advance plans to transform the 16ha infrastructural remnant, which features two surviving bridges and offers stunning views across the city’s former industrial waterfront. Proposals should boost ecological features along the rail line and incorporate a pedestrian and cycle route.
Judges include Ken Greenberg of Greenberg Consultants; Chris Reed of Stoss Landscape Urbanism; Janne Sirén, director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and Ana Traverso-Krejcarek, manager of the High Line Network.
The overall winner, to be announced in March, will receive a $7,500 prize while a second prize $3,000 and third prize of $1,000 will also be awarded along with a $3,000 community choice prize.
The deadline for applications is 5pm local time (EST) on 15 February.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information
Western New York Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 471
Tel: (716) 687-1225