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ROC the Riverway


The ROC the Riverway program consolidates more than two dozen transformational projects along the Genesee River into a unified strategy. This will enable Rochester to better leverage the value of its riverfront.

The program includes a variety of projects, such as the completion of the Genesee Riverway Trail along the riverfront through the Center City, and a redesign of Charles Carroll Plaza and Genesee Crossroads Park. The plan also envisions significant upgrades to major riverfront facilities, including the Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial; the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center; and the Rundel Memorial Library building.


Revitalizing the Genesee River corridor will help fuel our local economy. ROC the Riverway will serve as a major asset in attracting new jobs and solidifying our identity as a vibrant waterfront community. Cities around the world have discovered the power of great public spaces, bicycle/pedestrian-focused infrastructure, and water-oriented development in attracting employers and the next generation workforce.  

ROC the Riverway was in February 2018 with an initial State investment of $50 million for Phase I. This first phase is guided by the ROC the Riverway Advisory Board, which is led by Chamber of Commerce President Robert Duffy and Monroe Community College President Anne Kress. See the list of Advisory Board members below. 

Mayor Warren and Governor Cuomo joined members of the ROC the Riverway Advisory Board on August 1, 2018 to unveil the Phase 1 Vision Plan, which serves as a blueprint for the $50 million State investment in ROC the Riverway. Phase I consists of 13 projects along the Genesee River. Additional riverfront projects have since been added to the growing ROC the Riverway program.

Resources & Board Members


Phase I Vision Plan - The final plan from 2018
Phase I Image Gallery - A gallery of images of each page in the plan, provided as an alternative format to the PDF
Interactive ROC the Riverway Storymap - A map and graphics-based summary of the Phase I projects
Phase I Project Summary - A narrative summary of the Phase I projects
Full ROC the Riverway Proposal - The original $500 million proposal presented to Governor Cuomo, which resulted in the $50 million Phase I award
ROC the Riverway Proposal Executive Summary - A summary of the original proposal to the Governor

2018 Advisory Board Members

Bob Duffy (Co-Chair), Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
Anne Kress (Co-Chair), Monroe Community College
Lisa Baron, Greentopia
Clement Chung, ROC City Coalition (Past Chair)
Veronica Dasher, Rochester Gas & Electric (AvanGrid/Iberdrola)
Shawn Dunwoody, DUNWOODE Visual Consulting
Jim Howe, The Nature Conservancy
Norman Jones, City of Rochester 
Nichole Malec, Constellation Brands (Downtown resident)
Eugenio Marlin, Ibero-American Development Corp.
Mary Beth Popp, North American Breweries
Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, Rochester Downtown Development Corp.

ROC the Riverway Overview Map 


Objectives & Design Principles

ROC the Riverway Primary Objectives
  • Enhance the City’s potential for attracting State and private investment along the Genesee River;
  • Produce seamless multi-modal access along both sides of the river via the Genesee Riverway Trail and neighborhood connections to the trail;
  • Create dynamic public spaces, including a multi-use gathering space as the centerpiece of downtown;
  • Provide a massive boost to downtown’s ongoing resurgence;
  • Spur private development and job creation;
  • Repair and maintain critical infrastructure;
  • Remediate waterfront brownfield sites ;
  • Increase boating activity in the water south of Douglass-Anthony Bridge (I-490);
  • Establish a framework for active, sustained programming of public spaces and first floor uses.
 ROC the Riverway Design Principles
  • Focus on design that is oriented to pedestrians, bicyclists, boaters, and recreational enthusiasts;
  • Re-orient buildings to the water and adjacent public spaces;
  • Focus first on public spaces and facilities that serve citizens and visitors;
  • Improve connectivity to, from, along and across the river;
  • Create numerous opportunities for public art, historic interpretation, whimsical installations, and environmental stewardship – all united to create a sense of urban ‘play’ and celebration of the river.

Other Plans & Renderings

Other City Plans

ROC the Riverway projects have been identified in numerous other plans and studies. ROC the Riverway is a means to show how they can be stitched together to form a cohesive vision for a revitalized waterfront. 

ROC the Riverway is a concept-level visualization of select projects found in the City of Rochester’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP), completed in 2017.

About the Renderings

All renderings shown above and in the document are conceptual, not final designs. All private development and privately-run activities illustrated are shown to demonstrate context and the potential for leveraging funding. All renderings provided by Bergmann Associates except Charles Carroll Plaza rendering provided by Olin / T.Y. Lin.

ROC the Riverway Projects

Downtown / Riverfront Management Entity

In order to achieve a more vibrant, dynamic riverfront experience, a Downtown / Riverfront Management Entity will be created that will program and maintain the existing and newly created public spaces.

Front Street Promenade

Public investments along the water’s edge, including a formal pedestrian promenade, will allow future development to take advantage of this unique position along the Genesee, with direct connections to the Genesee Riverway Trail to the south.