PechaKucha Presentation

"The Belt Line … will be the next phase in Buffalo’s sustainable development."

In The Belt Line: Hiding in Plain Sight from PechaKucha Night Buffalo Vol. 16, urbanist and preservationist, Chris Hawley, presents the Belt Line -- one of the most conspicuous and least-known features of Buffalo, NY. Each day, trains go by along it and people drive underneath and over it. It is the "third strand" in Buffalo's DNA, as important to the city's physical and economic geography as Joseph Ellicott's radial and grid plan and Frederick Law Olmsted's park and parkway system; as consequential to the city's development as the Erie Canal and Interstate Highway System.

The Belt Line was opened in 1883, with segments dating back to 1836. The rail line is 15 miles long, forming a continuous loop through Buffaloʼs downtown as well as the prominent industrial loft clusters that it helped to create. Today, the Belt Line's 12 million square feet of largely vacant or underutilized industrial space is the city's next frontier for sustainable development. Factory buildings are being recycled as mixed-use developments. These former industrial areas are becoming walkable centers again.

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Tuesday, July 27th, 2016. 

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Greenspaces in New York

BY GWEN SCHANTZ
@ VOL 7 ON DEC 04, 2015

Gwen Schantz is a Co-Founder of Brooklyn Grange, a renowned urban farming business based in New York City. She spent much of her childhood in her parents’ western Massachusetts vegetable garden, and went on to work on small organic farms in New York State. Her professional background is in international sustainable development and environmental program development, and she is a co-founder of the Bushwick Food Cooperative as well as City Growers, a New York based food and farm education program for children and young adults.

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Bringing a Big Boat Back to Life

BY LIZ MCENANEY
@ VOL 8 ON MAR 04, 2016

Liz McEnaney is an urban historian and preservatioist who has worked in exotic locales such as Maputo, New Delhi, and even New York City! She co-founded BldgBlok - an app that provides tourists with location-based historic content.

Liz's latest restoration project is a big one! The SS Columbia - America's oldest excursion steamship - is making its way back to the Hudson River - listen to her tale of bringing the ship back to life!

Learn more about the SS Columbia project here

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Historic Preservation is Dead!

BY ELIZABETH BLASIUS
@ VOL 38 ON JUN 07, 2016

Elizabeth Blasius instructs us to pour a drink and mourn the passing of historic preservation for buildings.

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Collage City

BY JEAN-MICHEL REED
@ VOL 17 ON SEP 15, 2016

"An architect, it seems, has to be an optimist and idealist. That by building we're somehow making the world a better place. But before you need buildings, you need people."

In Collage City from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 17, artist, designer, realtor and retired paramedic, Jean-Michel Reed, shares stories and perceptions of Buffalo, New York as an intimate outsider. Reed moved to Buffalo in 1992, working first as a paramedic, and later transitioning to both a designer and a realtor as the city attempted an about face. Cites are made first of people, and then within those individual people, of experiences. It is this combination of convergent and divergent experiences that construct the sociological makeup of place and city, which, in turn manufactures the physical landscape. 

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Wednesday, December 14th, 2016.

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My Life as a Hetero Cisgender Millenial Mixed-Race ADHD Agnostic Only Child Black Belt American Named Dominic

BY DOMINIC VELANDO
@ VOL 7 ON JAN 26, 2017

Dominic Velando presents original illustrations revealing highly personal experiences such as his father’s death, drug-induced hallucinations, and doomsday paranoia.

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Buffalo Entertainment District Project, 1977-78

BY FRANK PALEN, ESQ., AICP
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

“Think of me as a time traveler. I’m going to take you back to a place called Buffalo in the 1970s.”

In Buffalo Entertainment District Project, 1977-78 from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, attorney and urban renewal advocate, Frank Palen, recalls the creation of a historic district for theatre and culture from a once abandoned rust belt urban core. From 1977 to 1979, Palen was Research Associate in the Center for Community Research and Development at the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Environmental Design, serving as Coordinator of the Buffalo Entertainment District Project. The University at Buffalo’s graduate studio investigated the potential of promoting a theater district in what was then an increasingly abandoned section of Downtown, despite various setbacks and a challenging political climate. The result was a very high-profile effort that set an agenda for the redevelopment of Buffalo that continues today.

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Rethinking Resettlement

BY ERKIN ÖZAY
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

"How can we make our endeavors clear and approachable enough that we can actually contribute to the public debate at a very high level?"

In Rethinking Resettlement from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, Erkin Özay, reviews some of the social and design issues involved in rehousing and supporting Buffalo, New York's new Americans. Özay's Spring 2016 UB graduate studio explored the potential for temporary and long-term housing for newly arrived refugees and immigrants, as well as the role of supporting institutions, community assets, and reimagining the existing housing stock. Özay's project investigates "compassionate urbanism." He is interested in how groups of limited means--new and existing residents--support each other through careful intersections. 

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Buffalo Niagara by Design

BY ROBERT G. SHIBLEY
@ VOL 18 ON SEP 24, 2016

"What was I thinking when I came to Buffalo? ... I was coming to join a social movement in our city and region, and I dove in head first."

In Buffalo Niagara Design from PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 18, Dean and Professor of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Robert Shibley, recounts his recruitment to Buffalo as Department Chair, 35 years ago. Upon the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the department, Shibley discusses his work with architecture and planning students, faculty and community members on various urban planning projects in the region. Across an arc of a quarter century, the UB Urban Design Project and the UB Regional Institute have been key players in the evolution of a broad regional planning framework.

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Champions for Change

BY ELIZABETH A. WALSH, PHD
@ VOL 19 ON MAR 14, 2018

"It takes a village."

Sometimes rules are meant to be broken. We abandoned the rule book for this free-form, "20x20 ish" team presentation, Champions for Change, at PechaKucha Buffalo Vol. 19Elizabeth Walsh, Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, shared her mic with a team of members of the Champion for Change program. Champions for Change (an initiative of One Region Forward in Buffalo) is a community innovation laboratory that integrates university and community resources to ignite bright ideas and inspired leadership for a flourishing region. In this celebration of community change-makers, one presenter even broke out into song. We guarantee this will make you smile!