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EPA Smart Growth Awards 2012

The EPA named its best smart growth projects of 2012, and named for “honorable mention” is Buffalo’s Larkin District

Community organizations and a local developer partnered with the University of Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning to help revitalize the Larkin District, an old manufacturing site located one mile from downtown Buffalo.  Architectural students worked with the developer and the city to create a master plan for an urban village that now features new office space, restaurants, apartments, parks, and plazas. New sidewalks, lighting, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and bus shelters reduce pollution from vehicles by making other transportation choices more appealing.

No word on what award the South side of the Larkin’s nouveau office park may have won. 

But I was more intrigued by this

Overall Excellence
BLVD Transformation Project, Lancaster, California
The redesign of Lancaster Boulevard helped transform downtown Lancaster into a thriving residential and commercial district through investments in new streetscape design, public facilities, affordable homes, and local businesses. Completed after eight months of construction, the project demonstrates how redesigning a corridor guided by a strategic vision can spark new life in a community.  The project has generated almost $300 million in economic output and nearly 2,000 jobs.

Take a look at the “before” image; it literally looks exactly like almost ever major thoroughfare in western New York. Transit Road, Main Street in Williamsville by way of example could be improved dramatically: 


  • DEisenbart

    I think the most amazing thing about the Lancaster redo is that is only took 8 months.   Could you imagine how long the exact same thing would have taken in here? It makes me think of how long they have been working on that linear park in the medical campus. I think they are still “working” on it.

    Still, if the same exact design was applied here, it would be extremely unpractical.   Try to picture that buried under 4 feet of snow.