For anyone who is still apprehensive about giving up recreation space and concert space at the Inner Harbor (see this vision), then you must consider the possibilities at the Outer Harbor.
The Outer Harbor offers limitless potential to create gathering places that trump anything that currently exists at the Inner Harbor. The Inner Harbor is still very much underutilized at the moment. Much of what has taken place at the Inner Harbor must be repositioned at the Outer Harbor in a way that would resemble the Lighter, Quicker Cheaper approach that spurred activity at Canalside.
After writing about urbanist Tim Tielman’s vision for the Inner Harbor, it became clear what the role of the Outer Harbor would become. In order to get that vision on track, Tielman has presented some visual clues that we should be considering, such as rapid ferry system (1), a tent café (2), a beach shack snack bar modeled on a barn (3), a small deli with a chicken bbq (4), a grand community porch (5), groups of lookout chairs, and a large shelter of horizontal sails with food cart shelters (7). All of these are fleshed out in this PDF.
These are the types of amenities and structures that could be built lighter, quicker cheaper – the same way that Canalside got its start. Once a series of small structures are set up, visitors will have a lot more reasons to head out to the Outer Harbor. Just this past year, a beer garden at Wilkeson Pointe proved to be popular, as did a new children’s playground. People will come to recognize the Outer Harbor as a place for lounging and listening to music, similar to how they use the Inner Harbor currently. Tim points to practical and fun ways to get this done in this Buffalo Outer Harbor Plan that he drafted in order to showcase some of his ideas.
It is widely known that people are adverse to change. Many people like the way the Inner Harbor looks and acts at the moment. But there is a much more exciting future for the Inner Harbor than what exists at the moment. The Outer Harbor will one day be the place to relax and lounge about, with incredible vistas onto the water, and public shelters to protect us from the weather. It will become a place to ride bikes and watch concerts, and there will be more connectivity than there is now.