Green Development Zone Wins International Sustainability Competition

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of State and the American Planning Association announced the three finalists in their Changemaker’s International Sustainable Urban Housing Competition.  Out of 11 finalists from countries around the globe, PUSH Buffalo and its Green Development Zone came out on top.

The leaders and staff of PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) will be hosting a celebration event in honor of this important victory for our city and the efforts being made towards sustainable reform.  The event will be taking place today at 3:30 p.m. at 10 Winter Street, which is the site of PUSH’s NetZero house.  Elected officials and community representatives will be present to give speeches and lead a tour of the projects that have come out of the Green Development Zone.

The zone encompasses the Massachusetts Avenue Project, the Outsource Center, Homefront and Habitat for Humanity.  Each of these organizations contribute to the overall goal of creating a more sustainable city by taking vacant properties in the area and transforming them into affordable, green housing units and training locations for those who are joining the green jobs field.  There are over 30 parcels of property in this zone that have gone from vacant spaces to integral parts of the sustainable movement.

“This is a huge honor for our city to be recognized worldwide as leaders in sustainability innovation,” said Jen Mecozzi, PUSH Board Chair. “As a single mother of four living on the West Side, I know what my family needs where we live, and we’re making it happen, with green affordable housing, sustainable landscaping and green jobs training.  Winning this contest demonstrates the incredible amount of support we have for our efforts.”

Thanks to online voters, Buffalo’s Green Development Zone was chosen to receive a prize of $10,000, which will be used to expand the work being done there.  PUSH and the other organizations associated with the Green Development Zone have also earned recognition on the local, national and international levels for their contributions to sustainable housing and job creation.

“PUSH’s selection as a finalist in Changemakers’ International Sustainable Urban Housing competition speaks directly to the innovative work that is happening right here on Buffalo’s West Side,” said Michael Clarke, Executive Director of LISC-Buffalo. “PUSH’s dedication to true resident engagement and participation shows that rebuilding neighborhoods in Buffalo and beyond needs to be about more than just housing. The Green Development Zone exemplifies true comprehensive community development by focusing on the built environment while providing opportunities for neighbors, education, pathways to employment, wealth building, and improved quality of life, all underpinned by a focus on environmental stewardship and sustainability so crucial to the future of our neighborhoods.”

To learn more about the Green Development Zone, visit the PUSH Buffalo website.

Photo: Todd Salansky – online thymes, llc.  

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