The Congress for the New Urbanism– a professional organization focused on revitalizing America’s cities– begins its four day conference here in the Queen City today, bringing experts from all over the world to look at the way that Buffalo is revitalizing. On display for visitors will be some of Buffalo’s greatest triumphs (Olmstead Park System, Darwin Martin House, and plans for the city’s future) and disappointments (the Skyway, the metro rail, etc.).
New Urbanism is focusing its attention on revitalizing rust belt cities to make them more walkable, less gentrified, and more bike-friendly. Visitors will hear Buffalo’s plans for a new zoning code, which could soon become a national model.
While registration for the conference is quite pricey for non-members, there are a number of free events available to the public. See the list below, which was assembled by The Buffalo News.
4:30 p.m., Hotel @ the Lafayette: Presentation by Joseph Minicozzi on the financial impact to municipalities of different types of development.
5 to 9 p.m., Canalside: Ray Oldenberg, urban sociologist, author of “The Great Good Place.”|
Noon, Buffalo Niagara Convention Center: Amy Levner of AARP on “Great Places for All Ages.”
5:15 p.m., Convention Center: Opening of conference with Ken Greenberg, planner for Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn; Fan Pier, Boston.
7 p.m., Hotel @ the Lafayette: Peatonito, Mexico City’s “masked champion of the pedestrian.”
8 p.m., First Niagara Center Arena’s Nexus Club: Talk with foremost urbanist Andres Duany, co-author of “Suburban Nation” and “The Smart Growth Manual,” and Emily Talen, professor at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.
Noon, Convention Center: Jeff Speck, author of “The Walkable City” and co-author of “Suburban Nation,” on “Towards a More Walkable Buffalo.”
5:30 p.m., Convention Center: Charter Awards ceremony recognizing leading urbanist projects.
7 to 11 p.m., Silo City: “Silos, Brews & Bonfires, exploring grain elevator ruins with local activists. Sponsored by CNU NextGen.
Noon, Convention Center: Presentation by William Fulton, former Buffalo resident, San Diego planning director and co-author of “The Regional City,” and James Howard Kunstler, pundit and author of “The Geography of Nowhere.”
5 to 11 p.m., Convention Center: Films from Los Angeles New Urbanism Film Festival, including “Olmsted’s Enduring Legacy” about Buffalo’s parks and parkway system.
6 to 10 p.m., Convention Center, Dialogue with young designers.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Rhode Island and West Utica streets: Traffic calming project, including street party, art, chalk and appearance by Peatonito, Mexico City’s “masked champion of the pedestrian.”
12:30 to 2:15 p.m., meet at Hotel @ the Lafayette: Bicycle tour of the East Side, “Tour de Neglect.”
6:30 p.m., Larkinville: Closing ceremony and party.
Tours (fee required; for a complete listing and more information, go to www.cnu.org/cnu22.)
“Sunset Boat Cruise on Buffalo River,” “Retail on Main Street in Williamsville” with retail expert Bob Gibbs.
“HarborCenter and Canalside.”
“Allentown and Elmwood District Neighborhoods,” “Buffalo’s West Side Story,” “Olmsted Parks and Parkways,” “Industrial Strength Tour: Adventures Along the Belt Line.”
“Niagara-on-the-Lake” with Andres Duany; “Chautauqua Institution,” “Niagara Falls & Lewiston (The Gardens at Oxbow),” “Buffalo on Bike.”