Aspirations and Inspirations: Imagining the Buffalo Waterfront

Next weekend, the City Honors School will welcome two urban visionaries to their auditorium to open up dialogue on how to improve the Buffalo Waterfront.

Aspirations and Inspirations: Imagining the Buffalo Waterfront will take place on Saturday, November 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. and will feature an in-depth discussion about how land use decisions and creativity can transform the waterfront into a more appealing and sustainable aspect of the city.  Leading this discussion will be Fred Kent, the founder and director of Project for Public Spaces (PPS) and Tony Goldman, the founder and CEO of The Goldman Properties Company.

Kent can be described as “a thinker” who works to transform public spaces and build stronger communities through his work with PPS.  PPS is a nonprofit group that provides resources, tools and ideas about placemaking and how to use local assets to create spaces that revitalize the community while simultaneously reflecting its historical value. PPS has worked in over 2500 different communities in each of the U.S. and 40 different countries.  Their projects include improving parks, transportation, markets, downtowns, civic centers, multi-use spaces, campuses, squares and waterfronts.  PPS works with public and private organizations, federal, state and municipal agencies, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations and other civic groups to help create spaces within the community that will help strengthen it.

Goldman also brings plenty of urban development experience to the discussion. His company has worked to transform neighborhoods in the Upper West Side, Wall Street Financial District and Soho in New York City, as wells as areas in Philadelphia, Miami and Boston.  In October 2010, Goldman earned the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work.  Goldman’s appreciation for art has made him a leader in the public art movement and has contributed to his work in designing and preserving urban spaces.  Goldman created a 3,000 square foot public canvas on Houston Street in SoHo which has brought artistic inspiration to the neighborhood.  He has created a similar concept in his “Walls of Wynwood” by commissioning the walls of several buildings in Miami’s old wholesale district to various artists to showcase their work.  His company works to use creative approaches to designing and developing undervalued land and buildings to revitalize the communities they lie within.

In addition to hearing the ideas of Kent and Goldman, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a waterfront soundscape by Bryan Wanzer, a metaphorical mime and puppet show by Michele Costa and sculptural designs by Dennis Maher.

The City Honors School is located at 186 E. North Street.  For more information on the event, visit the Facebook page
or visit the Buffalo Waterfront website.

About the author  ⁄ Sarah Maurer

18 comments
Greg
Greg

yea but the original plan was to build it downtown at some empty parcel near the waterfront. They persisted with the Amherst property even when the public found out the whole place was swamp land.

But hey, who would have liked downtown campus anyway? Just build something already, right?

suburban_hillbilly
suburban_hillbilly

They probably did. It seems to have been a solid decision considering the growth UB has enjoyed over the past 30 years.

Dan
Dan

> Does anyone know why Benderson was chosen in the first place? Is it because they have been so good at getting WalMarts to infest our region?

My guess: historic ties to the area, they've got connections in the retail community, and they've done lifestyle centers in Florida.

townline
townline

Wasn't really my point. I was alluding to the idea not caring what happens as long as something happens - that's a great way to end up with a shitty end product..

sho'nuff
sho'nuff

Get over it! UB Amherst isn't going away. They made the decision to build there in the 60s. Water under the bridge, move on!

sho'nuff
sho'nuff

We should be focusing on the future, not decisions that were made almost 50 years ago.

townline
townline

I think that must have been what they said when UB was built in Amherst.

bobbycat
bobbycat

I don't care what they decide, let's get something done!

jumpingbuffalo
jumpingbuffalo

If they can create something along the lines of the Toronto islands. A small residential community and a great place to bring the family for the day, a park-like trail, a mini-theme park, an amphitheater, a seasonal shopping area open to local vendors only.

Make this a less commercial portion of the waterfront.

LouisTully
LouisTully

I've bad-mouthed Benderson in the past and got thumbs down. Not sure why; and not sure why, in response to your question.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Why has the ECHDC been left untouched? Why is Toadstool Levy still in charge? Why? I don't understand why a fire hasn't been lit to their ass. There has been no developments since...? I agree, people like these men should be leading this.

Time to put Jordan Levy in the growing garbage bin of trash that needs to be sent out of town, see: Quinn, Brown, Collins, et al.

KeepItSimple
KeepItSimple

Incidently, Tony Goldman is Mark Goldman's brother. (Mark rescued the Calumet Building in the '80s and wrote the Buffalo History book "City on the Edge".)

Chris
Chris

None of these people are in a position to do anything.

If you remember Bass Pro backed out as the center piece of harbor development. This action requires everyone to step back and look at what is being done. This is a part of that.

Just doing something is what got us main place mall, the rainbow mall, etc. It appears that these individuals have good track records on quality developments that retain the fabric of the community.

gail42
gail42

My God, more talk. Do something for goodness sake.

suburban_hillbilly
suburban_hillbilly

Ah yes, more talk...exactly what the waterfront needs. Lots and lots of talk and NO ACTION.

Chris
Chris

Hopefully these guys will provide more than talk. These are the type of people that should have been brought in in the first place. Pay them the extra money.

Does anyone know why Benderson was chosen in the first place? Is it because they have been so good at getting WalMarts to infest our region?

queenseyes
queenseyes

Just updated the post - the event is next weekend, Saturday Nov 6, 2010 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

St Jimmy
St Jimmy

It is NEXT weekend (this weekend is the 30th-31st)

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