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“Buffalo Can Teach Us About Thriving Urban Neighbourhoods”

Hamilton-Buffalo-neighbors-NY-1Check out this great read at Raise the Hammer, spelling out many of Buffalo’s recent successes in hopes that Hamilton, Ontario follows by example. Reading the article, I am immediately transported back to a time, in the not so distant past, when Buffalo wouldn’t be in the position to be spotlighted in this manner. In fact, I’m still not at all used to reading these sorts of the flattering remarks, both in the article and in the comment section. Here’s a snippet that is an example of what I am referring to:

Delaware Park was packed with families on a Sunday night. Folks in our group said, “Why can’t Hamilton have this?” referring to the street lined with patios and people walking and using bikes.

The short answer is that we still think we need our streets to be dead freeways and our buildings need to be one-storey boxes with big parking lots. – Jason Leach @ Raise the Hammer

It looks like all of the hard work is starting to pay off when we read these sorts of reflections, not to mention comments of this nature:

Buffalo is amazing. We venture down there almost monthly, in fact. There are a number of great neighbourhoods in the city, in addition to Elmwood: Allentown/Allen Street (historic district with galleries, a gay section, historic homes), BlackRock (an old part of the city which is seeing a rebirth), Hertel (some great stores, the road needs some calming), and even downtown (pockets of activity). Then there are some historic townships outside of the city, such as East Aurora, which are wonderful. Definitely pay the city a visit. It is really worth it. – PeterW

As for Hamilton, I don’t follow the local politics there, but what I can say is that my wife and I find ourselves paying visits more often than we do Toronto. Ever since we started making the road trip to go to Wass Ethiopian Restaurant we’ve prided ourselves in taking the time to explore various parts of the city, and we usually end up finding a cozy pub along one of the side streets to sit and chat. Those walks involved a lot of conversations revolving around topics such as urban density, public transportation, architecture, public spaces… as they related to both Buffalo and Hamilton. If you haven’t taken a trip to Hamilton, you must take the time some day. Looking back, I believe that we are due for another trek to see our friend Wass! Ever since Buffalo landed a handful of Ethiopian restaurants we’ve been a bit spoiled. In the meantime, thanks to our Hamilton neighbors for taking the time to notice some of the changes that are taking place in Buffalo these days… it means a lot to have some fans so close by. That’s coming from a fan of Hamilton by the way.

Here’s a final snippet from our friends at Raise the Hammer:

Buffalo’s Elmwood district is demonstrating that success can be developed in any urban area when the goal is to create vibrant business districts and residential neighbourhoods instead of merely treating them as freeways to somewhere else.

Kudos to them for leading and showing vision even in the midst of very difficult economic circumstances.

Hamilton can absolutely see the same vibrancy and success in our older urban neighbourhoods if we simply muster up enough vision and leadership to make it happen. – Jason Leach @ Raise the Hammer

*Hat tip to Buffalo Rising reader/contributor Lorne Opler (Torontonian) for sharing the article. Photo: Raise the Hammer

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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