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Energy

Buffalo revitalization group wins global award

PUSH_2.jpg
Daniel Robison
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WNED
Standing in front of the "Net Zero House" on Buffalo's West Side, PUSH's Dorian Gaskin, above, details the solar and geothermal features of the 19th-century home.

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wned/local-wned-963130.mp3

Competition in the Sustainable Urban Housing Contest was stiff. There were more than 300 entries - some from as far away as Buenos Aires, Argentina.

But the Green Development Zone, a creation of not-for-profit PUSH Buffalo, won out earlier this week, collecting $10,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State Department.

"We immediately broke into a celebratory mood here in the office and had an ice cream party that included community residents," says Aaron Bartley, founder of PUSH Buffalo.

Bartley says the award validates work in the Green Development Zone, which is the rehab of more than 30 abandoned parcels on Buffalo's west side using environmental methods.

"It shows the undervalued assets of Buffalo, which are vacant houses that can become sites of experimentation," says Bartley. "By concentrating those in a neighborhood, you can really create a best practices model on a global scale."

PUSH will gather opinions from the neighborhood before deciding how to spend the money.

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