Buffalo’s Topography: A Unique Combination of Hills and Flatlands
Buffalo’s hills, also known as moraines, were formed by glacial activity thousands of years ago. These hills provide stunning views of the cityscape and have been creatively used throughout Buffalo’s history. The Buffalo Zoo is located atop one of these hills, and the Olmsted Park system incorporated several hillsides into the design plan. The varying elevations of the hills also provide opportunity for stormwater retention.
The flatlands in the northwestern part of the city are a product of sediment deposits from nearby rivers, making for fertile plains perfect for agriculture and industrial activities. Buffalo’s access to water resources made it a prominent hub for trade and commerce in the 19th century. Today, the flatlands are still heavily used for industrial purposes and the Port of Buffalo, but new growth and small business expansion have also emerged, especially along the waterfront.
Buffalo’s hills and flatlands shape its economy, infrastructure, and way of life. The unique interweaving of old and new creates a charm that sets Buffalo apart from other cities. By appreciating the topography of Buffalo, we can better understand and enjoy this diverse and dynamic city.