Canal Side: Citizen Waterfront Forum<br />City of Buffalo Public Opinion Solicitation<br />Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning<br />Byron W. Brown, Mayor <br />Brendan R. Mehaffy, Esq., Executive Director<br />
Significant progress has been made.<br /><ul><li>- Buffalonians have consistently demanded access to the water.
- Federal, state, and local officials have responded with new streets, public spaces, walking and cycling paths.
- The waterfront is now more accessible than it has been in decades.
- Canal Side infrastructure is nearly complete and significant development-ready parcels are ready for build-out.</li></li></ul><li>
Mayor Brown issues call for ideas.<br /><ul><li>- Mayor Byron W. Brown issued a call to the public for ideas for the development of Canal Side on August 10, 2010, and the public came back with an overwhelming response.
- Solicitations for public feedback from hundreds of people were collected by e-mail, personal letters, and the City’s 311 web form and call line.</li></li></ul><li>RESPONSE TO MAYOR’S CALL<br />856 people<br />1,757 ideas<br />
STRONG PUBLIC SUPPORT<br />National specialty restaurants and retail chains, particularly those that are not yet located in the Buffalo area.<br />The public overwhelmingly supports the waterfront’s development as a setting for restaurants, coffee houses, and bars. <br />Civic gathering places and access to the water have widespread support. <br />There is a strong desire for recreational, leisure, and sporting activities at the water’s edge. <br />There is a strong desire for museum and interpretive experiences that relate strongly to Buffalo’s heritage, culture, and Great Lakes/Erie Canal location.<br />The public stresses the importance of historical and cultural authenticity in the waterfront’s build-out.<br />
LIMITED PUBLIC SUPPORT<br />There is only limited support for use of the water’s edge as an office location, indicating a widespread preference for its development as a “resort” or an “escape from the 9 to 5” destination.<br />While there was a call for local retailers, there was a greater call for national retailers.<br />The public expressed some concern about environmental standards, but did not express any concern for a living wage as a prerequisite to waterfront development.<br />
The common thread across all the responses is a desire for the waterfront to become an exciting urban place, where restaurants, retail, entertainment, recreational activities, and cultural and family destinations - in short, “things to do” - are embedded into an authentic, walkable district.<br />
The feedback from the public reinforces many of the overriding goals and objectives of the Canal Side Master Plan.<br />