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Aspirations and Inspirations: Imagining the Buffalo Waterfront

Next weekend, the City Honors School will welcome two urban visionaries to their auditorium to open up dialogue on how to improve the Buffalo Waterfront.

Aspirations and Inspirations: Imagining the Buffalo Waterfront will take place on Saturday, November 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. and will feature an in-depth discussion about how land use decisions and creativity can transform the waterfront into a more appealing and sustainable aspect of the city.  Leading this discussion will be Fred Kent, the founder and director of Project for Public Spaces (PPS) and Tony Goldman, the founder and CEO of The Goldman Properties Company.

Kent can be described as “a thinker” who works to transform public spaces and build stronger communities through his work with PPS.  PPS is a nonprofit group that provides resources, tools and ideas about placemaking and how to use local assets to create spaces that revitalize the community while simultaneously reflecting its historical value. PPS has worked in over 2500 different communities in each of the U.S. and 40 different countries.  Their projects include improving parks, transportation, markets, downtowns, civic centers, multi-use spaces, campuses, squares and waterfronts.  PPS works with public and private organizations, federal, state and municipal agencies, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations and other civic groups to help create spaces within the community that will help strengthen it.

Goldman also brings plenty of urban development experience to the discussion. His company has worked to transform neighborhoods in the Upper West Side, Wall Street Financial District and Soho in New York City, as wells as areas in Philadelphia, Miami and Boston.  In October 2010, Goldman earned the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work.  Goldman’s appreciation for art has made him a leader in the public art movement and has contributed to his work in designing and preserving urban spaces.  Goldman created a 3,000 square foot public canvas on Houston Street in SoHo which has brought artistic inspiration to the neighborhood.  He has created a similar concept in his “Walls of Wynwood” by commissioning the walls of several buildings in Miami’s old wholesale district to various artists to showcase their work.  His company works to use creative approaches to designing and developing undervalued land and buildings to revitalize the communities they lie within.

In addition to hearing the ideas of Kent and Goldman, visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy a waterfront soundscape by Bryan Wanzer, a metaphorical mime and puppet show by Michele Costa and sculptural designs by Dennis Maher.

The City Honors School is located at 186 E. North Street.  For more information on the event, visit the Facebook page
or visit the Buffalo Waterfront website.

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Written by Sarah Maurer

Sarah Maurer

I moved to Buffalo to attend Canisius College in 2007 and began writing for Buffalo Rising as a journalism intern in 2010. Working with Newell and meeting numerous entrepreneurs, activists and everyday folks who were working to make their city better made a huge impact on my decision to stay here. After witnessing all the positive development and grassroots initiatives happening in neighborhoods throughout the city, I was inspired to pursue a term of service in AmeriCorps and a career in Buffalo's non-profit sector. I currently work in the housing department at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY and am excited to be a part of their ongoing efforts to revitalize the Broadway Fillmore neighborhood. I also volunteer as the project coordinator for Artfarms Buffalo. I continue to write for Buffalo Rising because I love having the opportunity to stay connected to those working toward positive changes for the Queen City.

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