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Vote NOW for Buffalo’s Green Development Zone

Public voting recently began to select three organizations from a group of 11 finalists in Ashoka’s Changemakers Sustainable Urban Housing: Collaborating for Livable and Inclusive Cities competition. PUSH Buffalo’s Green Development Zone just so happens to be among them.

The competition is being sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of State. The goal of this contest is to support organizations whose mission is to create more sustainable communities through green jobs training and community planning.  The three winners selected will be awarded $10,000 to invest in their projects and continue working to better their communities. Initially, there were 289 entrants competing from 48 countries.  A international panel of judges narrowed it down to 11 final competitors, including organizations from Argentina, India, Mexico, Brazil, Kenya and, of course, Buffalo, NY.

“These finalists’ solutions will stimulate economic growth, combat poverty, and build environmentally savvy, transit-rich, walkable urban cities,” said Benjamin de la Peña, Associate Director for Urban Development at the Rockefeller Foundation. “They will unleash economic opportunities for the urban poor by creating inclusive developments around the world for years to come.”

Buffalo’s Green Development Zone is the only project based in the United States that was chosen to be in the final round of the competition.  The zone is based in the West Side of the city and encompasses the Massachusetts Avenue Project and its urban farm, the Outsource Center, Habitat for Humanity, and Homefront organizations. They are currently working on completing a NetZero home, constructing 14 housing units, community gardens, and sustainable landscaping projects in over 20 vacant lots within the city.

Between now and April 6, we encourage our readers to visit the competition website and vote for Buffalo’s Green Development Zone.  The winners of the competition will be determined based on the number of votes they receive.  The three organizations with the highest number of votes will be invited to showcase their contributions at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. in June.

“By 2050, three out of four people in the world will live in cities, as millions continue to stream into urban areas in search of fresh opportunities,” said Ashoka President Diana Wells. “By creating affordable, sustainable, and inclusive housing, and addressing the challenge of energy constraints and climate change, these solutions will enable cities to serve as the engines of the global economy while providing more resilient, liveable communities for millions worldwide.”

For more information on the competition, visit the Changemakers website.  To learn more about Buffalo’s Green Development Zone, visit the PUSH Buffalo website or view the following video.

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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