Buffalo Bayou East Sector Investment Framework and Master Plan
HR&A developed an investment framework to guide the long-term planning and investment in the East Sector and is managing development of a Conceptual Master Plan.
The Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) is the nationally-recognized developer and operator of Houston’s celebrated 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park, which was completed in 2015 and has become one of the country’s great urban green spaces. Building upon this success, BBP seeks to extend the Buffalo Bayou greenway network along four miles of Buffalo Bayou waterfront east of Downtown Houston, catalyzing broader neighborhood revitalization in a predominantly industrial and post-industrial landscape that is disconnected from the surrounding historic communities.
HR&A’s Investment Framework Report assessed existing conditions and defined a vision, key priorities, and next steps for BBP’s activities in the waterfront areas of Houston’s Second and Fifth Wards, collectively known as the East Sector, consistent with principles of authenticity, connectivity, and inclusiveness. The report identified open space and neighborhood redevelopment opportunities and strategies and provided a long-term implementation plan for BBP’s activity and investment in the East Sector, including recommending the initiation of a masterplan for the East Sector.
Following the investment framework report, HR&A managed the completion of the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. The plan provides a blueprint for 40 miles of new and improved trails, 200 acres of public open space, and inclusive development, all informed by robust community input. The plan prioritizes the integration of community and open space, including early development of a mixed-income housing development on BBP-owned property. The long-term vision will pay tribute to Houston’s industrial roots, celebrate culturally rich neighborhoods, and serve as an important symbol for the city’s continuing commitment to accessible park space for all.
In 2020, The Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan won the Top Honor Award for Planning as part of the Excellence on the Waterfront Awards Program. Buffalo Bayou Park is moving forward with implementation of the first phase of trail and park development with a $10 million award from the Houston Endowment.