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Green Development Zone Wins International Sustainability Competition

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of State and the American Planning Association announced the three finalists in their Changemaker’s International Sustainable Urban Housing Competition.  Out of 11 finalists from countries around the globe, PUSH Buffalo and its Green Development Zone came out on top.

The leaders and staff of PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing) will be hosting a celebration event in honor of this important victory for our city and the efforts being made towards sustainable reform.  The event will be taking place today at 3:30 p.m. at 10 Winter Street, which is the site of PUSH’s NetZero house.  Elected officials and community representatives will be present to give speeches and lead a tour of the projects that have come out of the Green Development Zone.

The zone encompasses the Massachusetts Avenue Project, the Outsource Center, Homefront and Habitat for Humanity.  Each of these organizations contribute to the overall goal of creating a more sustainable city by taking vacant properties in the area and transforming them into affordable, green housing units and training locations for those who are joining the green jobs field.  There are over 30 parcels of property in this zone that have gone from vacant spaces to integral parts of the sustainable movement.

“This is a huge honor for our city to be recognized worldwide as leaders in sustainability innovation,” said Jen Mecozzi, PUSH Board Chair. “As a single mother of four living on the West Side, I know what my family needs where we live, and we’re making it happen, with green affordable housing, sustainable landscaping and green jobs training.  Winning this contest demonstrates the incredible amount of support we have for our efforts.”

Thanks to online voters, Buffalo’s Green Development Zone was chosen to receive a prize of $10,000, which will be used to expand the work being done there.  PUSH and the other organizations associated with the Green Development Zone have also earned recognition on the local, national and international levels for their contributions to sustainable housing and job creation.

“PUSH’s selection as a finalist in Changemakers’ International Sustainable Urban Housing competition speaks directly to the innovative work that is happening right here on Buffalo’s West Side,” said Michael Clarke, Executive Director of LISC-Buffalo. “PUSH’s dedication to true resident engagement and participation shows that rebuilding neighborhoods in Buffalo and beyond needs to be about more than just housing. The Green Development Zone exemplifies true comprehensive community development by focusing on the built environment while providing opportunities for neighbors, education, pathways to employment, wealth building, and improved quality of life, all underpinned by a focus on environmental stewardship and sustainability so crucial to the future of our neighborhoods.”

To learn more about the Green Development Zone, visit the PUSH Buffalo website.

Photo: Todd Salansky – online thymes, llc.  

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  • chris_hawley

    Wowza! HUGE NEWS. Congrats to PUSH Buffalo!
    Since when has the city received so much national recognition for doing progressive planning work? Buffalo is getting its groove back.

  • Travelrrr

    HUGE! Congrats PUSH!!

  • john.straubinger

    This is great news.The lower West Side with all of its positive activities and projects is building a very impressive momentum.
    Let’s hope that momentum spreads all over the city.

  • 16thStreet

    Wow! Congrats!

  • DeanerPPX

    It’s great that a COMMUNITY organization is being recognized, and I hope that the government and business sector takes note of this!
    Green and sustainable issues are becoming a deciding factor for more and more people and businesses today. If encouraged and promoted by our leaders and employers, it can attract new residents, jobs and funding to our area.
    I can’t cite references, but have read that northern climates are more cost effective and energy efficient to heat and cool than sunbelt areas, even those with dramatically cheaper energy sources (A/C is a hugely inefficient method of temperature control compared to heating… the carbon footprint for a home or business in the south is something like two or three times that of a similar building in the northeast, and can be 1.5 to 2 times more expensive)
    With current concerns over oil prices, energy efficiency, water conservation, and sustainable living, Buffalo would do well to promote groups like PUSH to attract new businesses and populations in the coming years.

  • hamp

    Congratulations PUSH!

  • Buffalo All Star

    Well done.. this is the type of thing leaders need to get behind. Public sector will never be able to accomplish what private organizations like PUSH can.