More than a half-century ago, Houston's flood-prone Buffalo Bayou was unceremoniously turned into a straight sluice to carry excess water to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2012, the city embarked on a $58 million plan to restore the river’s natural bends and build new wetlands and parks, transforming this onetime eyesore into an urban amenity. Much of the credit for its success goes to Kevin Shanley, a landscape architect and principal at SWA Group, based in the firm’s Houston office. We asked Shanley, who specializes in urban river projects, about the rebirth of the Buffalo Bayou and the benefits of restoring natural habitats to urban waterways.
June 12, 2015