Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Monday, July 22, 2013

GardenWalk Buffalo

I mentioned GardenWalk Buffalo a few months ago in a blog entry about Garden Tourism.

It's this coming weekend, Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th, and it's the largest open and free garden tour anywhere.  See "Garden walks delight many across six Buffalo Niagara communities" from the Buffalo News.

GardenWalk is held in conjunction with a separate National Garden Festival, which lasts for six weeks, starting June 21st and going through August 4th.

Each weekend there is a different garden walk tour, and 1,000+ gardens are open to touring over the course of the 15 weeks.

In June they had garden-related art fair (something that I recommended for Brookland a long time ago, to leverage their House and Garden tour and the Greater Brookland Garden Club).

Buffalo Garden Walk - MapFlickr photo right by Joe Tecza.

One element of the GardenWalk Buffalo program are beautification grants (not unlike how the St. James Court Art Fair in Old Louisville neighborhood in Kentucky funds community improvements from money they make sponsoring the fair) for projects across the city.

Overall the program is a great example of ground up civic engagement, community building and community improvement initiatives that are done through the equivalent of community organizing, rather than as top-down government initiatives.

This weekend, some of the city's landmarks that are lit at night (architectural lighting) will be lit up in green in honor of the event.  See "Buffalo is Going Green for Garden Walk" from the Buffalo Rising blog.

The art fair and coordinated architectural lighting, along with the longer National Garden Festival, plus the beautification grants, and the tourism promotion program are good examples of how to leverage multiple elements of an "event" so that there is much greater and longer lasting impact.

According to a 2011 piece in the Buffalo News (reprinted in this blog entry from the Art of Gardening):

ZIP code collection by Visit Buffalo Niagara during last year’s Garden Walk Buffalo indicated that 24 percent of attendees came from outside Erie and Niagara counties. A survey showed an average of $68 was spent by each visitor on food, tickets to other culturals and incidentals. With crowds estimated at 50,000 to 55,000, that means a direct economic impact of $3.4 million to $3.7 million.

Pretty impressive.

Also see:

- Jim Charlier page, Garden Talk Buffalo blog
- "Garden tourism benefits the economy and much more," Buffalo News
- "Britain's parks and gardens prove big draw for tourists," The Guardian
- Garden Tourism: Definitions, Concepts and Examples, European CulTour project

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At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Jim/ said...

Thanks again Richard. Your articles lend credence to our cottage industry of a garden tourism industry! I know I still owe you my slide show - I have to get it into a form that is useable for you...

At 5:00 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

I hope one day to be able to check out the tour (and Buffalo) myself!


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