Urban planning community

  • Site of the Day: Terrains Vagues

    From the site: Terrains Vagues was established as an independent private initiative; a thinktank escorting vacant urban landscapes during their repositioning. Founded with the belief that cultural concepts can succeed where conventional approaches have not, terrainsvagues incubates vacancy strategies into cultural concepts able to underpin larger scale private investment. Through creative management of vacant land, we inspire new discussion about its future potential elevating land management from what is a stop gap measure for many cities into the largest opportunity for their reinvention.

    The main goal of the project is finding answers to help find a new purpose for the East Side of Buffalo, New York, an area of expanding urban prairie in an otherwise recovering American city.



    Terrains Vagues: http://www.terrainsvagues.org/

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Linda_D's avatar
      Linda_D -
      I wish the members of this organization good luck, but unless they can get the mayor, the city council, and the other alleged "city leaders" on board with massive demolition of abandoned neighborhoods, I just don't see Buffalo's East Side doing anything but continuing to rot.

      Mayor Byron Brown has been a major disappointment as far as doing anything except neglecting the East Side -- and most of the other neighborhoods in Buffalo, too. In that respect, he's simply Tony Masiello Part Deux (Brown's predecessor as mayor who apparently believed that the world ended just beyond the limits of "downtown" with the exception of his own gentrified West Side neighborhood). Nothing has been as detrimental to the City of Buffalo as the total lack of vision and leadership from its politicians and its other purported "leaders", including those on the county level. These asshats are all about feathering their own and their croneys' nests with public monies while pushing their own agendas. Buffalo and Erie County bear a disgusting resemblance to the stereotypical "banana republics" of Latin America -- poster children for corrupt governments. It's why I will never, ever live in Erie County ever again.
    1. Dan's avatar
      Dan -
      Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
      I wish the members of this organization good luck, but unless they can get the mayor, the city council, and the other alleged "city leaders" on board with massive demolition of abandoned neighborhoods, I just don't see Buffalo's East Side doing anything but continuing to rot.
      I agree. It's ultimately feelgood planning, although of such an out--in-left-field kind that I thought it would be interesting to have a link.

      Feelgood planning rules the day on the East Side now. Example: The Broadway Market is a couple of years away from shuttering its doors forever because some believe its presence can save and even revitalize the neighborhood. This belief, which is really quite common, stifles any efforts to move it to a more viable location. or build a public market anywhere else in the city. The Broadway Market is going to be killed by nostalgia for the old neighborhood and feelgood planning, and the neighborhood will continue its decline.
    1. DetroitPlanner's avatar
      DetroitPlanner -
      I think its more than just feelgood. Don't know about Buffalo, but we are working on having too much infastructure for too few people. If we can balance this out logically, thats going to mean saving billions of dollars. Lots of opportunity exists in those empty spaces. We've been working with the sewer department and the rec department as well as with non-profits to reduce runoff while increasing recreation space. Low cost stuff can be implemented that will help us reduce our costs on CSO redesign and formerlly congested streets are getting bicycle paths. This is turning a sow's ear into the silk purse.
    1. Linda_D's avatar
      Linda_D -
      DP, that might work in your city, and it might work in other cities, but there is absolutely no inclination on the part of the Buffalo's leaders -- in government, in business, or in the community itself --, and I mean NONE! -- to move off square 1 with this. East Side community activists have had plans and visions of demo'ing the worst offending blocks for a decade or more. It ain't happening because Buffalo's leadership stonewalls it. Why do they do that? I have no idea. It's like they've sold their souls to the Devil in order to get into political office or climb the corporate ladder, and they now take their marching orders from an evil higher authority that figures Buffalo isn't losing population fast enough so the city has to make conditions for ordinary residents worse to push more people out of town faster.

      I lived in Buffalo for more than 20 years before I moved to Albany for a career change. It was there that I realized that cities weren't, by definition, politically and socially dysfunctional entities, even though most people in the Albany area considered Albany pretty crappy. What I've learned from living in Jamestown for the last dozen years is that even poor, struggling cities in truly economically deprived areas, can provide decent habitats for their residents. Buffalo is "overwhelmed" by its problems because its "leaders" have NOT bothered to address any of the problems with anything but platitudes and excuses for four or five decades.

      // rant over