At a Glance

A green infrastructure framework provides the foundation for a planning study along the Allegheny River, highlighting opportunities for the holistic integration of stormwater treatment, habitat restoration, and open space connections in a post-industrial landscape.

Project Description

As part of a team led by Sasaki Associates, Biohabitats led the ecological restoration, green infrastructure, and open space master planning components of the Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Study for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. This six-mile stretch of riverfront, extending from downtown Pittsburgh to the city’s eastern edge, is dominated by an active freight rail, industrial and underutilized lands, and a few tightly knit, residential communities. Riverfront access to local residents is limited at best, and the ecological health of this important tributary to the Ohio River could be greatly improved with a more holistic approach to redevelopment.

The Green Boulevard Study sought to transform the existing Allegheny Valley Railroad (AVR) right-of-way into a multi-modal green corridor which could include a bicycle-pedestrian path and passenger rail service, while integrating stormwater management technologies in the existing rail freight corridor. The study included a housing master plan for a key riverfront site along the AVR right-of-way, as well as an open space plan to emphasize riverfront, habitat, recreation, and open space connections.

Taking a “living infrastructure” approach to this planning study, Biohabitats highlighted opportunities for landscapes that provide multiple functions, from enlivening the community to enhancing habitat for wildlife, treating stormwater, and creating new connections to the River. Biohabitats provided a toolkit of living infrastructure practices that could be integrated throughout the study area, including stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), wastewater treatment wetlands, habitat patches, buffer areas, soil conditioning, floating wetlands, regenerative stormwater conveyance and more.



Ohio River

Physiographic Province

Appalachian Plateaus


Lower Allegheny

Expertise Areas

Conservation, Urban Ecology


Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Project Team
  • Sasaki Associates