Affordable Housing + Jobs + Greenspace: Buffalo Builds The Bailey Green Project

Buffalo, NY photo by Michel G. is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
A residential street in Buffalo, NY.

These days, adding affordable housing to a city is challenge enough without adding permanent jobs as part of the same project. With it’s Bailey Green Project, Buffalo, New York is making an admirable attempt to combine the two and open up green space at the same time.

Elliot Lake -- Day 2 photo by Emma-O Productions under license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Elliot Lake, Ontario

Resource based company towns in remote locations demonstrate just how quickly an entire town can be built. Companies need workers. Workers need houses. But keeping employment synchronizing with housing over time is not so easy. Elliot Lake, Ontario, pictured on the left, was a booming uranium mining town until the mine closed. Several decades have passed, and  Elliot Lake, rich in empty houses, has survived in part by chasing retirees. In the Toronto Star: Northern town’s a hotspot for active retirees

Beihai (1) photo by Victoria Benstead-Hume under license CC BY-NC 2.0
Older housing in the port city of Beihai in South China

Mines open. Mines close. It’s an inevitability, but planning for such events in the complexity of a larger city is much more difficult. For example, China, which is capable of diverting the enormous resources towards any building enterprise, has found itself embarrassed occasionally by investing in housing projects that turn out not to suit predicted community needs. In the Daily Mail: The City of the Dead: The ghostly Chinese town filled with luxury properties that nobody lives in

The City of Buffalo has grown through a complexity of industrial change. The city’s attempts to marry affordable housing together with jobs is modest compared with big business and national government. There is no single, strong funding source, there are multiple objectives, multiple partners, and multiple time frames to coordinate while developing jobs and housing together. Still, Buffalo, is slowly plowing ahead with an innovative urban farming project linked with affordable housing and a healthy living environment. Read more in the Buffalo News:  New houses built, urban farms expanding as Bailey Green project pushes ahead


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