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niagara gorge rim restoration

ASLA Merit Award for Planning and Analysis


edr published a study for Wild Ones, a nationwide organization promoting natural landscapes, examining the potential for ecological restoration of the Niagara gorge rim. The study, which was funded by the Niagara Greenway Commission’s Ecological Standing Committee and the City of Niagara Falls, proposed the removal of the maligned and underutilized Robert Moses Parkway from the gorge rim. In its place, edr and Wild Ones proposed a restored landscape celebrating native ecology, improving public access to the vibrant Niagara River waterfront, and creating new and exciting opportunities for sustainable economic growth.

edr was able to show how a restored native landscape would benefit the region through a number of improved “ecosystem services”, employment opportunities in key sectors, increased property values, enhanced ecotourism opportunities, and modest (but potentially advantageous) changes to local traffic patterns. The potential costs of restoration were compared to those associated with rebuilding the antiquated and deteriorating parkway, demonstrating the many benefits that could be achieved at a fraction of the cost of reconstructing and maintaining a prime example of redundant, detrimental infrastructure.

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