Landscape architects SWA have revamped Houston’s Buffalo Bayou Park, a once run-down green space just west of the city’s downtown area.
Hiking and bike trails, a dog park, a play area and an event space are among the additions to the 160-acre site, dubbed ‘Houston’s Central Park’. SWA also designed two new pedestrian bridges, making the park – which runs alongside the Buffalo Bayou river – more accessible to surrounding neighbourhoods.
‘It was relatively unsafe and mostly underutilised [before] because the area is flanked by big roadways,’ says SWA principal Scott McCready. ‘Now anyone can just drop into the park. You might have a child with you, or be elderly – it’s not just for the young and athletic.’
SWA renovated existing green spaces within the site too – including the Wortham Foundation Grove and Eleanor Tinsley Park. The practice has also replaced half the park’s turf with woodlands and meadows to provide a stable ecosystem for wildlife native to Texas.
The park’s overhaul is part of a wider regeneration project around the Buffalo Bayou river.