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PUSH Buffalo People United for Sustainable Housing 271 Grant Street Buffalo, NY 14213 (716) 884-0356

Green Development Zone People United for Sustainable Housing Inc. (PUSH Buffalo) has concentrated its efforts in a Green Development Zone on Buffalo’s West Side. The zone is approximately twentyfive square blocks. On the east, the Green Development Zone borders Elmwood Village, cited last year by the American Planning Association as one of the ten greatest urban neighborhoods in the country. On the west, the Green Zone borders the Niagara River.

healThy neighborhood ConCePT Plan The FooT oF granT

Clean & green

The CirCle

Community veggie garden

The north gateway celebrates the connection to the commercial district. • New iconic bus shelter and planters • Monumental kiosk and bike racks • Planters, benches, trash receptacles and pavers • Enhanced tree planting and expanded green space

The entrance to the Massachusetts Avenue corridor will be marked with sculptural and landscape elements to introduce an identity with an aesthetic theme. • Gateway structure • New iconic bus shelter and planters • Trash receptacle and benches • Enhanced tree planting and green space

The Crossing

Three corners are held by historic structures. A landscape feature and bus shelter reinforces the fourth corner.

The hearT

The heart of the neighborhood is the Growing Green Urban Farm and the Park. The garden is enhanced and defined by low artistic walls and gateways. Enhanced street trees and amenities improve pedestrian connections. • New iconic bus shelter • Garden walls, gateways and bike racks • Planters, benches, trash receptacles and pavers • Enhanced tree planting and expanded green space • Redesigned Park with landscaped connections

• New iconic bus shelter • Trellised pavilion • Planters, benches, trash receptacles and pavers • Enhanced tree planting and expanded green space

The easT-WesT gaTe

The Triangle Project by: eco_logic STUDIO Charles Gordon Architecture graphic design by: Rachel Gottorff

Clean & green

14th street Tree Farm

The west gateway celebrates the collision of street grids with a passive green space and sculptural markers. • Restored landscape specimens

• Free-standing sculpture • Planters, benches, trash receptacles and pavers • Massachusetts Avenue corridor markers • Enhanced tree planting and expanded green space

The Five PoinTs

rain garden

This confluence of ways is expressed through unique street enhancements that reclaim the “commons.” • Street “intersection repair” art • New iconic bus shelter and planters

This gateway celebrates the entrance from the east with a sculptural marker and companion street furniture.

• Gateway sculpture • Planters, benches, trash receptacles and pavers • New iconic bus shelter • Enhanced tree planting and expanded green space

• Public “vestibule” which welcomes and tells the stories of the place • Trash receptacles, benches and bike racks • Enhanced tree planting and green space

The objective of the Green Development Zone is to create a national model of urban revitalization by concentrating strategic investments in green-design housing rehabilitation, environmental sustainability projects on vacant land, community gardens, and other urban agriculture projects. Since the mid-1970s, Buffalo’s West Side has experienced declining population, increased

Who we are

The mission of PUSH Buffalo is to mobilize residents to create strong neighborhoods with quality affordable housing, expand local hiring opportunities and advance economic justice in Buffalo. PUSH organizes neighborhood residents to help build a democratic, action-oriented organization capable of addressing poor housing conditions and the lack of living wage jobs in the neighborhoods. PUSH members have led several high-profile campaigns aimed at increasing investment in the neighborhood.

rates of housing vacancy and smallbusiness decline. Through the efforts of PUSH and a variety of other communitybased organizations, new investment and community engagement has begun to reverse these trends. The West Side’s attributes, which underlie the recent resurgence, include the following: • A pedestrian-friendly street plan with mixed-use buildings and historic Victorian-era homes. • Designation as one of the leading sites of refugee resettlement in all of New York State, with about 7,500 refugees resettled in the last four years. • Adjacency to Elmwood Village, the fastest appreciating neighborhood in all of Western New York and home to hundreds of small businesses of all types. • A commercial district along Grant Street anchored by food wholesalers, retailers and restaurants. • Five miles of accessible riverfront, with bike paths and several promenades. • A network of strong nonprofit institutions, including the rapidly- expanding D’Youville College.

To date, PUSH and its partners have achieved the following in early efforts to advance the Green Development Zone:

• •

Constructed environmental sustainability projects on seven vacant lots in the Zone, including a tree farm, community gardens and rain gardens, which absorb rainwater that would otherwise contribute to sewer overflow contamination. Completed six units of green- design rehabilitation of vacant

housing or low and moderate income occupancy. Through a community organizing campaign, helped to create a new Block by Block funding program which enabled Homefront to begin renovation on six vacant homes on 19th Street. These homes will be sold by Homefront to first-time homebuyers.


• • • • •

Through a partnership with WNY AmeriCorps, secured Federal YouthBuild funding for employing and training 60 out-of-school young people. Secured funds for the green-design rehabilitation of 11 vacant units on Massachusetts Avenue for low and moderate income occupancy. Work to begin in December 2009. These properties will include extensive solar electricity and highly-efficient heating systems. Secured funds through the NSP program to purchase 20 vacant properties in the Zone for the purposes of creating a development pipeline and piloting a vacant property landbank. Broke ground on a “Net Zero” energy house at 10 Winter Street. Once completed this will be the most energy-efficient home in the region, with a geothermal heating system and extensive solar energy. The Massachusetts Avenue Project, a nonprofit focused on youth development and food justice, has constructed a large urban farm with an aquaculture facility at its heart.

To fully realize the Green Development Zone concept, which would place the West Side among the leading models for progressive urban revitalization in the country, resources for the following priorities will need to be identified: • • • • • • •

Green-design rehabilitation of approximately 100 additional units by PUSH and Homefront. Infrastructure improvements such as bike racks, solar- powered street lights (where feasible), and benches. Coordination with WIBs and training agencies to maximize local hiring in employment. Investment in neglected parkland along Massachusetts Avenue. Expansion of the MAP urban farm and establishment of additional community gardens. Expanded refugee services, especially programs such as Homefront’s effort to foster homebuyers in the Burmese community. Marketing materials to publicize the accomplishments in the Zone and to turn it into a teachable model.

The realization of the Green Development Zone would advance PUSH’s effort to identify replicable strategies for combating blight in upstate cities.

Design by Rachel Gottorff


Green Development Zone