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Chris Hawley

Urbanist and Preservationist in Buffalo United States

Chris Hawley is a city planner and preservationist. He works for the Mayor's Office of Strategic Planning in Buffalo, NY, where he has focused on the Buffalo Green Code, a comprehensive rewrite of the city's land use and zoning policies. He has previously worked for developer Howard Zemsky and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

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The Belt Line: Hiding in Plain Sight

BY CHRIS HAWLEY
@ VOL 16 ON APR 14, 2016

"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 Buffalo╩╝s 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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PAST VOL 16

Buffalo @ The 9th Ward at Babeville
Apr 14, 2016