Environmental, recreational and urban design masterplan for an eight mile river corridor running through the center of Houston, Texas. Through an extensive public participation process, the consultant team developed a vision for the river corridor featuring environmental restoration of the river, enhanced recreational and boating opportunities, flood management strategies and urban design recommendations for the riverbank. The plan also improved public access and enhanced activities and mixed use commercial development at key spots along the waters’ edge. Dodson & Flinker was responsible for landscape, recreational, environmental and open space issues as a member of the EcoPLAN design team. The $1.4 million study was completed in the spring of 2002.

The plan for the Bayou includes widening the floodplain, creating wetlands, marshes and riparian areas and expanding wildlife habitats. Dodson & Flinker also recommended low-impact development strategies that deal with storm water run-off on site to greatly improve water quality. One of these strategies involved the creation of “Green Fingers”- new stream cor¬ridors extending into derelict areas of the city. The corridors include a series of tributary settling pools where storm water and river water is slowed down and allowed to be purified. These “Green Fingers” extend into the neighborhoods, linking the Bayou with the existing city park system and neighborhood streets. “Green Streets” running perpendicular to the Bayou bring residents to its banks and nearby parks. By interlacing green and urban environments, the rehabilitation of the Buffalo Bayou is interconnected with the improvement of its nearby neighborhoods and streets.