31 Jul

I was unable to attend the SmartCode conference on Saturday, but wrapups can be had at Buffalo Rising and the WNY Progress Report.

The City’s current code dates to 1951, and has proven woefully inadequate for today’s needs. The City Court building, which glowers over Niagara Square, was raised as an example of zoning gone awry; the building’s use is appropriate for the area, but its design is at best an eyesore, and at worst a disaster.

Right on the cover of the SmartCode (8.0) is the point of it all:

Cities have to move to a new system. They should look at the streets they like and the public spaces they like and then write the rules to get more of what they like and less of what they don’t. Conventional zoning doesn’t do that. It just gives a use and a density and then you hope for the best. – Peter Katz

Preservation and development in Buffalo are often at odds, and the rules aren’t set, but are instead made up as we go along, usually through costly and sometimes embarassing litigation. This is a way out of that rut.

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