Brendan Keany

Community Votes on Favorite DL&W Corridor Design

Design competition generated nearly 100 submissions from across the globe

April 11, 2019 - 3:03 am
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BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - The Western New York Land Conservancy hosted an open house last night in downtown Buffalo with the goal of hearing more feedback from the community on what people would like to see become of the DL&W Corridor. Several hundred people gathered to vote on submissions from the international design competition that aims to re-purpose the corridor.

The plan is to eventually transform the old DL&W Corridor into a mixed-use nature trail, and last night was another step toward creating the best possible design. 

"We helped the community create a vision plan for what they'd like to see happen here, and then we started this design ideas competition," said Jajean Rose-Burney, who serves as deputy director of the conservancy. "We wanted to see what designers and artists from all over the world and Western New York thought that community vision plan would actually look like."

Listen to the full conversation with Rose-Burney below:

Executive Director Nancy Smith says that the design submissions they received were whittled down to the top-25, and the public voted on those designs last night.

"We ended up getting submissions from every continent except Antarctica," said Smith. "There were 97 submissions, and tonight we'll be gathering input from the community because it goes back to listening, not only from the immediate neighbors, but from the broader community, to find out what everyone would like to have happen there."

The winning design doesn't necessarily mean it will be the set-in-stone plan moving forward; in fact, it probably won't be. Smith indicated that the final result will likely be a blending of the best ideas they're seeing from a variety of designs. While Smith didn't want to say what her personal favorite design was, she discussed some items that she really likes.

"When we asked the neighbors what is a problem for them, a lot of them have trouble with food access," she said. "They have to drive a half hour to go to a grocery store, so some of the ones that have a farmer's market or a community garden, I like that idea."

However, there are still some unresolved questions regarding funding as this process moves forward.

"For the next phase, we have a $369,000 grant for concept and schematic design," said Rose-Burney. "We need to come up with a little bit more than $100,000 as a match toward that grant, so that's essentially the immediate need."

As for long-term funding...

"This project could cost anywhere from $10 million to $30 million depending on what we build," he said. "These are very preliminary cost estimates, and what we end up building depends on what people like."

Listen to the full conversation with Smith below:

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