Active Connections

Active Connections.

"Active Connections": A still from the film of Buffalo's Belt Line, along which some industry remains active, while others await reuse.

Completed in 1882, the New York Central Belt Line formed a 15-mile loop around the core of the city, connecting Buffalo's major industrial sites and neighborhoods for the carriage of freight and passengers. While no longer serving local commuters through its 19 passenger stations, the tracks remain active for the few remaining industries scattered along the corridor, connecting Buffalo to nearby Niagara Falls and to cities across the border in Canada. On the west side of the tracks, the former National Bisquit Company (Nabisco) plant, now operated by Milk Bone, continues production, as it has since 1922. To the east, the abandoned Wonder Bread factory lies in wait. 

Visions and Works

  • Uncovering cultural landscapes
    Urban planning students have assumed an almost investigative role as they explore two of Buffalo’s most historically significant — and hidden — landscapes: the Buffalo Belt Line, a former passenger rail line that loops the city almost unnoticed; and the Scajaquada Creek, a largely buried 13-mile stream whose shores trace the evolution of Buffalo.
  • One Region Forward receives national planning award
    A sustainable development plan for the Buffalo Niagara region led by the UB Regional Institute was awarded a 2016 APA National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach.
  • Laying Buffalo's planning foundation
    The UB Regional Institute's planning work with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council has helped lay the foundation for Buffalo’s resurgence.
  • Architecture studio designs refugee housing in Buffalo
    Architecture faculty member Erkin Özay, a native of Turkey and witness to the in ux of Syrian refugees in Istanbul, is now working to position design in support of Bu alo’s burgeoning refugee population. His work was recently featured in a Metropolis magazine piece on legacy city responses — including design — to these new residents (“Refugees Could ‘Save’ America’s Rust Belt — Will We Let Them?”, Nov. 2016).
  • Bridges and roads as important to your health as what’s in your medicine cabinet

    Architecture professor Korydon Smith says health care reform and America's aging infrastructure should be part of the same debate.