UB Urban Design Students Share Proposals for Future Heart of Buffalo’s Bailey Green Neighborhood – UB Now: News and Views for UB Faculty and Staff


Urban design studio UB engaged with residents to reimagine the heart of Buffalo’s Bailey Green neighborhood at a community event held May 7.

Students and faculty discussed the studio’s design proposals for “Bailey Commons”, a community-led development that would transform a series of vacant lots between Zenner and Kilhoffer streets into a mix of open green spaces, open spaces games and new urban infrastructure and housing.

The studio’s instructional team – Conrad Kickert, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, School of Architecture and Planning, and Joy Kuebler, Nationally Renowned Landscape Architect – used a play-centered design process to create an inclusive and fun environment that residents can share. their ideas for the future neighborhood crossroads.

Activities included neighborhood walking tours, design-themed card games, collages, role-playing, and using everyday objects like boxes and buckets to try out design ideas.

“Rather than design and present, the students co-created proposals for neighborhood improvements through an intensive collaborative process called placemaking,” says Kickert. “This process invites us not to jump to conclusions, but to listen, engage, play and iteratively create new ideas with community members.”

The studio is backed by Harmac Medical Products, a longtime Bailey Green presenter and the neighborhood’s largest employer. Over the past decade, under the direction of John Somers, Harmac has engaged faculty and students from the School of Architecture and Planning in neighborhood planning and design projects that advance a more vibrant Bailey Green , durable and healthy. This work has already led to a development of infill and adaptive reuse housing, green spaces and an urban farm.

Bailey Commons will continue to take shape with community input, with several elements potentially progressing as UB-led design-build projects.

“Our ultimate goal is to empower community members to take our designs further after the studio ends and to have a positive impact in the field through actionable and defended design interventions,” says Kickert.

Saturday’s event included design presentations by students, opportunities to hear from residents who participated in the design process, and a “skills park” where neighborhood kids could build imaginative structures with real tools and salvaged materials.

Community organizations held their own tables, with healthy food demonstrations by local retailers, seed-planting stations, and a toy and bike raffle by the Stop the Violence Coalition.


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