Ten years ago, PUSH Buffalo, an upstate affordable housing developer and internationally-recognized leader in the field of sustainable community development, established the Green Development Zone (GDZ). The GDZ is a 25-square block area on Buffalo’s West Side, home to a concentration of affordable housing, workforce training programs, green infrastructure, and community facilities. From 2015-2017, HST has worked with PUSH to increase local resident involvement in the ongoing design and development of the GDZ with neighborhood planning support, community mapping, wayfinding, and interactive engagement tools.
HST and PUSH are also worked together with Ujima Theater and the WASH Project and a team of architects to transform School 77 – an abandoned, decommissioned school building – into a home for both low-income seniors and local arts organizations. HST is developed design workshops, provided research and analysis, and integrated School 77 design opportunities into existing local arts programming. With the support of Artplace, we engaged over 1,000 residents, including School 77 neighbors, new immigrant communities, and local arts and service organizations in order to integrate local residents in the design and long-term care and use of the building.