Reimagining the DL&W Corridor:
International Design Ideas Competition

Multi-Use Urban Nature Trail & Greenway

Buffalo, New York

The Western New York Land Conservancy invited designers, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and artists to submit visionary concepts to a juried competition laying the groundwork to transform the abandoned, 1.5-mile elevated DL&W rail corridor connecting Buffalo’s downtown with its waterfront through three distinct and historic neighborhoods.

This Design Ideas 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 neighborhoods. 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 revitalized community and a restored ecosystem.

Additional information regarding the goals and intended outcomes and disclaimers for the Design Ideas Competition are available in the Competition Brief.

Monetary awards are available for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the juried competition and will be judged anonymously. An award will also be given to the community choice, selected with resident input

The deadline to submit a design for the competition was Friday, February 15, 2019. The competition is now closed to new entries.

Competition Schedule:

  • November 16, 2018: Design Ideas Competition launch.
  • January 4, 2019: Optional site visit for applicants.
  • January 11, 2019: Deadline for questions from applicants.
  • February 15, 2019: Deadline for submissions (5:00 p.m. EST)
  • April 2019: Public exhibition and selection of winners


  • Charles Davis II, Assistant Professor of Architectural History and Criticism, University at Buffalo
  • Ken Greenberg, Principal of Greenberg Consultants/ author of Walking Home – the life and lessons of a city builder
  • Sara Heidinger, President of the Old First Ward Community Association/ co-owner Undergrounds Coffee House & Roastery
  • Chris Reed, Founding Director of Stoss Landscape Urbanism/ Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture and Co-Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design
  • Robert Shibley, Professor and Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning/ UB Campus Architect/ Senior Fellow at the UB Regional Institute
  • Janne Sirén, Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
  • Ana Traverso-Krejcarek, Manager of the High Line Network, at Friends of the High Line

Advisers and Consultants:

  • Kishore Varanasi, Director of Urban Design and Principal at cbt
  • Anthony Armstrong, Principal at Make Communities

We would like thank the generous supporters of the Design Ideas Competition

  • M&T Bank
  • Blue Fund, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
  • Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation/Land Trust Alliance
  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy through the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund
  • Individual Land Conservancy members and donors