Missing Teeth

This article from Buffalo Rising talks about “missing teeth” in city streets: the areas where buildings have been knocked out, replaced mostly by parking and in some instances by “green space” or simply weeds.  Just as missing teeth are unattractive on anyone over the age of ten, missing buildings on a street make it less appealing.  The article reads, “The most attractive and vibrant cities in America…present beautifully composed streets that are defined by unified rows of buildings, working together to create urban outdoor rooms.” Disney World’s Main Street USA is often sighted as an example of this.  Though some say it is a false facade, it is one built on the ideal of what an American town should look like, what Disney remembered towns looking like, and should not be dismissed because it isn’t real.

“Gap-toothed” development hurts commercial streets.  The author argues that “There is not a single commercial street in Buffalo that has not been severely damaged by gap-toothed development of parking lots.”  He states that Grant Street may be the least damaged, but cautions that if car storage is made a priority in this area then it could go away like all the others.  Buffalo is an area with a great history that has been scarred by a number of bad planning decisions, especially along its waterfront, but with aware minds such as that of this author, we can hope for good things.


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