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Preservation Planning Studio Develops Conservation District Plan for Buffalo's Fruit Belt

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An example of infill guidelines developed by MUP students for Buffalo's Fruit Belt neighborhood, as part of the fall 2012 preservation planning studio.

Published June 28, 2013

Graduate students in the Master of Urban Planning program recently developed a conversation district plan for Buffalo's Fruit Belt neighborhood, a distressed residential neighborhood near downtown Buffalo. Students focused on developing infill design guidelines to transform the Fruit Belt neighborhood into a thriving community.

The Fruit Belt neighborhood has undergone many transitions within the past decade that have left the area in a weakened state. Many of its residents have lost hope. The sense of community is still alive but is diminished. It needs to rebuild itself in order to face the increased threats of demolition planned by the city to accommodate future development. Although major demolition has already occurred, the area continues to grow as reflected by the new infill housing built for residents.

New development is crucial for this area to thrive once again, but it must follow a strict set of design guidelines. These guidelines will help preserve many of the historical elements of the buildings and the area. Community involvement is crucial in order for the Fruit Belt neighborhood to become New York State’s first conservation district.