School of Architecture and Planning

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A Summary of the Conversation

Buffalo's Opportunity

the idea of heritage development

the values of heritage development

real places and telling stories

heritage development and the tourism industry

tourism is a byproduct of good places

making it work economically

the process is important

Executive summary

Buffalo's Opportunity

The Idea of Heritage Development

The Economics of Heritage Development

Urban Design and Heritage Development

Exhibit of Historic Views

Heritage Development
- a Case Study

Group Discussion Sessions

Content Analysis
(coming soon)

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Tourism is a Byproduct of Good Places

Creating “well-animated places” is one of the goals of heritage development, Gallaher and others stressed. But it is also one of the means by which such development is accomplished. People visit other places because they are attractive. Gallaher, Adelmann and Russell all emphasized the need to set high standards for the quality of public spaces through strict guidelines, sensitive design, and good maintenance and programming.

What are good places? They are places that provide people choices of things to do, other people and activities to watch, and do so on a 24-hour, year-round basis. Creating such places involves promoting a mutually-reinforcing set of characteristics. Many speakers mentioned, and Homer Russell hammered home, the central importance of mixed uses. Putting housing, employment, shopping and eating and drinking along with heritage attractions can provide the activity, choice, and continuous animation that define good places.

Mixed uses, combined with a density of uses and activities at a fine-grained scale, can promote the kind of animation we seek. Russell talked about the importance of doorknobs. The more doorknobs on a particular street the greater the density and finer the grain of activity and use. Such streets are the active ones and the ones visitors seek out. It is also important to make such streets pleasant to walk, which means preserving mixed uses, fine grain, and pedestrian scale, but also improving the streetscape and putting some limits on the automobile.

Interior of The South Park Conservatory.  -  Buffalo Architecture: A Guide Finally, some urban places require good programming in order to be successful. Public squares and waterfront promenades need festivals, concerts, farmers markets and other affairs to draw people and create habits of visitation. Buffalo’s waterfront in particular, one citizen noted, will need creative programming to create year-round activity.

The invited guests gingerly suggested, as in Moriarity’s words, that “seasonality issues call for some creative alternatives in marketing.” Harsh winter weather also presents operational dilemmas, cost premiums and programming limitations for the waterfront site. Still, Russell urged Buffalo to avoid using tunnels and skywalks as strategies to deal with climate problems. Carmichael also noted the noise, shadow and safety issues presented by the Skyway. A number of citizens knew exactly what should be done – take it down.

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