Request for Proposals

Downtown Infrastructure & Public Realm Master Plan

Buffalo Urban Development Corporation

Buffalo, NY

Posted: 09/30/2013
Submittal Deadline: 10/25/2013


Proposals are being solicited from Planning, Engineering and Landscape Architecture firms, to provide planning and design services for an Infrastructure & Public Realm Master Plan for downtown Buffalo, New York. The plan and implementation strategy shall establish a strategic approach and methodology to guide the development and investment of streetscape and open space infrastructure in downtown Buffalo. The plan will be aligned with other downtown planning efforts and projects and dictated by consensually developed stakeholder criteria and available funding sources. The plan will clearly articulate an exciting yet realistic vision for improving downtown Buffalo’s public realm.

The Infrastructure and Public Realm Master Plan for downtown Buffalo is a strategic planning project that will provide a guided approach to creating a more competitive and marketable downtown Buffalo real estate sector. The Master Plan will establish an overall strategy to improving downtown Buffalo’s streetscapes and public spaces, prioritizing especially catalytic projects that will have the most significant impact in attracting new businesses and development to downtown.

During the past decade, Downtown Buffalo has experienced a resurgence of residential development. Since 2000, nearly 1,000 new apartments have been developed, converting former industrial and class C office space into trendy new loft residences. This follows a nation-wide trend of populations flocking back to downtown. In major US metropolitan markets, downtowns grew by more than 200,000 residents from 2000 to 2010. Dense urban environments are attracting young professionals as well as empty nesters, who are seeking walkable lifestyles, living proximate to restaurants, entertainment and services.

The Infrastructure and Public Realm Master Plan aims to support and accelerate downtown Buffalo’s growth as a place to live and work by instituting a comprehensive approach to improving streets and public spaces. The plan will focus upon the downtown experience, prioritizing projects that will make downtown a more vibrant livable place that provides residents and workers amenities for their day-to-day lives and offers a competitive advantage for those who are seeking to live and work in a walkable, urban environment.

The plan will build upon completed initiatives, including the Buffalo Building Reuse Project as well as previous funding commitments, to efficiently and effectively leverage limited funding sources to improve streetscapes and public spaces to downtown.

This project will build upon regional planning priorities that have been established by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNY REDC) established by New York State that stresses the importance of sustainable development, rebuilding our existing urban cores and returning residents and businesses to downtown Buffalo. Downtown is the transit hub of Buffalo-Niagara; this project will strengthen downtown’s viability as a walkable, multi-modal center of employment and stimulate the continued growth of residential developments.

The selected consultant team will bring to the table best practice expertise in public space development, sustainable infrastructure design, management practices and strategic implementation. Reporting on successful projects and strategies completed in similar locations will inform the final recommendations for public realm improvements in downtown Buffalo.

The final master plan will clearly articulate an exciting yet realistic vision for improving downtown Buffalo’s public realm. The plan will delineate a prioritized master list of streetscape and public space improvements and provide a step-by-step, phased approach for implementation. The plan should be able to communicate the importance that each recommended project will have upon downtown’s overall function, appeal and marketability in order to leverage public and private investment.

Contact Dave Stebbins at for the full RFP.