In up-and-coming neighborhoods, old churches are often converted to apartments or offices. But what about the vacant or underused churches in areas that aren't attractive to developers? In an article published in The Conversation, Ashima Krishna explores the conversion of vacant Christian churches in Buffalo into new places of worship as a strategy for preserving architecture and strengthening burgeoning immigrant and refugee populations in post-industrial cities across the U.S.
An article on Civil Eats interviews Samina Raja, professor of urban and regional planning in the UB School of Architecture and Planning, about her work on food access, trends in the field and potential solutions. “We have one neighborhood in Buffalo that by federal guidelines is described as a food desert, but it had a thriving mom-and-pop grocery store in it. So if you went to look for grant funding, it would bring in a competitive supermarket that wouldn’t hire local people,” she said. “So defining a neighborhood as a food desert would thwart an existing, functioning grocery store because it didn’t fit the idea of a supermarket. I’m much more in favor of letting residents decide how they want to define their neighborhood and getting to the precision of the issue whether it’s a problem or an asset.”
A story on Investigative Post reports on the “staggering” number of motorists across the state who lose their driver’s license every year and interviews Henry Louis Taylor Jr., director of the Center for Urban Studies, who said that debt-related suspensions provide little to no public safety benefit. “We are taking people who are already on the economic edge, we are criminalizing them and increasing the burdens and hardships on their lives,” he said.
The School of Architecture and Planning is excited to kick off the 2019-20 academic year with a dynamic lineup of orientation events. Activities kick off Thursday, August 22 and continue through the weekend.