Buffalo Bayou Park

PrizeWinner in Landscape Architecture / Public, Winner in Landscape Architecture / Large Scale Landscape Projects
Firm LocationHouston, United States
CompanySWA Group
Design TeamScott McCready, Michael Robinson, Kevin Shanley, Jiyoung Nam, Josh Lock
ClientBuffalo Bayou Partnership
Project Videohttp://

The renewed 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park is a critical urban green space, extending upstream of downtown Houston along Buffalo Bayou. Stretching over 2.3 miles, the park offers Houstonians access to one of the region’s last un-channelized urban waterways. Located within one of city’s primary drainage ways, Houston’s floodwaters frequently submerge much of the park in over twenty feet of water. Creative design techniques were employed to create a resilient park environment, able to withstand the destructive flooding forces of the bayou while protecting the investment of these valuable public amenities. Over 15 miles of pedestrian and bike paths, including 4 pedestrian bridges, offer opportunities to explore the restored ecology of the bayou while promoting healthy activities for Houston’s growing population. Large event lawns, protected gardens, nature play areas and flexible plazas provide the infrastructure to support year-round events. The $58-million project was funded through a public-private partnership model, kicked off by a catalyst gift of $30 million with additional funds raised through a capital campaign. As our increasingly crowded cities search for more parkland, Buffalo Bayou Park acts as a global benchmark for applying creative design and funding to unlock critical green space in the heart of our communities.