At a Glance

Proposals for a transformed urban waterfront not only provide connectivity across neighborhoods, but support a more natural environment.

Project Description

The Parks & People Foundation (Baltimore, MD) issued a call for proposals to develop a recreation and restoration plan for the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River in Baltimore, MD. Biohabitats supported three different design teams, who were invited to prepare concepts as part of a national design competition, with our local ecological knowledge and expertise in restoration and resilience planning in the upper Chesapeake Bay.

Biohabitats contributed expertise in native ecosystem restoration and adaptive ecological design with a focus on living shorelines and restoration of tidal wetlands, native woodland and scrub shrub buffers integrated into parks, trails, recreation areas, and revitalized neighborhoods in an area of Baltimore historically subject to the pressures associated with intense industry, aging infrastructure, and fragmented neighborhoods, resulting in vulnerable communities disconnected from the rest of the city. The three transformative urban waterfront proposals integrate better access and connectivity across the neighborhoods with healthier natural environs, supporting increased biodiversity, restoring vital marsh and woodland habitat zones, and prioritizing climate change resilience. The designs also weave the unique urban character of Baltimore with a mosaic of natural systems the reflect the Chesapeake Bay estuarine systems, providing an educational and recreational resource for the local community as well as a broader array of visitors to “Charm City”. Biohabitats participated in public meetings and workshops with the community, then conducted site visits, data review and field research to support the teams’ designs in planning and visioning charrettes. All three proposals successfully merge residential, industrial and commercial life in a mosaic of development along a resilient and restored natural shoreline, helping to ensure that ecology is the foundation for a revitalized shoreline and resilient community.



Chesapeake/Delaware Bays

Physiographic Province

Coastal Plain



Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Community, Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Urban Ecology, Water


Parks and People Foundation


Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Project Team
  • James Corner Field Operations
  • Hargreaves Jones Associates
  • West 8