Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Great Youth Turnout at Buffalo Green Code Meetings!

During the week of November 15th, the City of Buffalo held three public meetings to discuss the planning of the new Buffalo Green Code - an overhaul of the existing zoning code and the development of a new land use plan for the city. The meetings were informative and interactive - allowing participants to share information about the places they liked and disliked in the city - giving the planning department and the consultants a good idea about what we value in our city.

There was a great youth turnout! At both the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings, youth 19 and under made up 10% of the participants! Middle school and high school students turned out with friends and family to share their views on what matters most to them.

For now, the consultants will take the information that they heard and continue to work with stakeholders in the community. Another round of public meetings will take place in the spring - we hope to see even more families and youth participating in the next round!

Photos courtesy of Erin Sharkey and the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2nd Policy Brief released today!

The second policy brief was released today by the HKHC assessment team from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo. This brief outlines the food system in the City of Buffalo.

What is a food system? The food system includes the production of food (farms, gardens, etc.), processing (canning, wrapping, etc.), transporting the food, distribution (grocery stores, corner markets, farmers markets, etc.) and food disposal (waste).

The policy brief also shows what neighborhoods look like around schools in terms of food access - what can students get within a five minute walk from their school?

Check out the policy brief below or download it here!

What is Zoning?

Some of you may be asking yourselves why zoning matters to you. The following is an excerpt from the City of Buffalo's Green Code website:

"A zoning Ordinance is a document containing rules, requirements and standards that guide and direct the use of structures and land, and the form and location of structures in a manner that carries out the policies of the Comprehensive Plan. It determines whether the design and use of neighboring buildings complement each other or conflict with each other. It determines whether the places that people live, work and play are clustered together or separated from each other. It determines the process through which change occurs and whether these changes happen in a manner equally transparent and predictable for the developers of land and residents of the neighborhoods in which they develop."

For those of us interested in health - zoning can support healthy neighborhood design. It can support the inclusion of grocery stores, parks and community centers. On the flip side, it can exclude or limit the number of unhealthy uses like liquor stores and fast food restaurants.

Tonight is the first Green Code meetings - come out and show your support for healthy community planning! Check out the Buffalo Green Code website at www.buffalogreencode.com for location and time information - or see the previous posts! See you tonight!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Buffalo Green Code Meetings this week!

Now is the time to get involved! We have been talking for months about the City of Buffalo's overhaul of the current zoning code. The public participation meetings are happening this week!

You can attend any of the three meetings - doesn't matter where you live - just go to the one that fits best with your schedule.

HKHC has prepared a flyer that helps to explain a bit about the Green Code process. Click here and you can download the flyer!