No Danger in Density

January 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

A few months ago these before and after pictures of Cleveland’s Warehouse District were making the rounds. Picked up by our friends at Rust Wire, these before and after photos of Cleveland’s warehouse district show the danger of planning around the automobile by replacing mixed-use infrastructure with surface lots.

Warehouse District 1960's

Warehouse District Currently

The Atlantic Cities knowingly or unknowingly took the same time-lapse, comparative approach to the city of Buffalo and the results are staggeringly similar.

Buffalo 1902 - Current

Though a bit grim, these pictures provide answers about what we should not do when planning our cities, but more importantly what we should do in order to promote economic, environmental, and neighborhood sustainability throughout the Midwest. An emphasis on alternative transportation, walkable, livable neighborhoods, and mixed use development are just a few of the things we should champion in creating sustainable cities that inclusively plan for the current generation without disenfranchising the future generations.

All not is bad. There has been recent talk of creating a “transit hub” in Cleveland’s Warehouse District. At first this may sound like another case of planning for the automobile, but the Regional Transit Authority and private developers are working on a plan to include new mixed-use development such as retail and residential buildings that surround the transit hub and help anchor future development that hopefully eradicates the Warehouse District of its much hated surface lots. This solution would also help justify Cleveland’s Mayor Frank Jackson’s plan for unifying Cleveland’s Public Square and diminishing its role as a large transit hub.

On a side note: Anybody from Buffalo who is interested in contributing to the Midwest Sustainable Cities Symposium website should leave a comment with your contact information.Thanks!

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