At a Glance

With ecological restoration fully integrated into development plans for a brownfield site, a healthy, naturally functioning river becomes the backbone for a thriving riverfront community.

Project Description

As a key member of a planning/design team led by Sasaki Associates, Biohabitats oversaw the ecological restoration and green infrastructure components of the site development plan for this 260-acre vacant brownfield site on the banks of the Buffalo River. Though the Buffalo River suffered neglect and abandonment throughout Buffalo’s industrial growth, it is now poised for a dramatic comeback. The RiverBend development will play a critical role in this revitalization process.

Regeneration of the site and river’s ecological health will not only bring environmental benefits, it will also provide RiverBend with an array of recreation, cultural heritage and economic opportunities. RiverBend is intended to be a model for sustainable development that fosters long-term economic growth by leveraging the assets of the site and region. Place-making principles were applied to create special public spaces and a new community on the banks of the Buffalo River. The project aims to achieve the vision of the South Buffalo Brownfield Opportunity Area Master Plan in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts while fostering on-going remediation and environmental restoration of the Buffalo River. Biohabitats worked closely with Sasaki and other team members to ensure integration of ecological restoration and green infrastructure into the overall plan for the site. Biohabitats is also working with Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper as they pursue restoration of 2,800 linear feet of the Buffalo River riparian zone at the RiverBend site.



Great Lakes

Physiographic Province

Lower Great Lakes Plain


Lake Erie

Expertise Areas

Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Infrastructure, Urban Ecology


Buffalo Urban Development Corporation


Buffalo, New York, United States

Project Team
  • Sasaki Associates, Inc.