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Buffalo at the CrossroadsThe Past, Present, and Future of American Urbanism$
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Peter H. Christensen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749766

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749766.001.0001

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Rust Belt Cosmopolitanism

Rust Belt Cosmopolitanism

Resettlement Urbanism in Buffalo, New York

(p.235) Chapter 11 Rust Belt Cosmopolitanism
Buffalo at the Crossroads

Erkin Özay

Cornell University Press

This chapter begins with a background on the demolition of Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin building in 1950 which proved ominous for Buffalo. It sketches Buffalo's impending socioeconomic decline by citing several landmark events from the decade, such as the relocation of the prominent Technical High School from the black East Side to the white West Side in 1954. It also follows five decades of decline that halved Buffalo's population and hastened its transformation into a rust belt cornerstone. The chapter focuses on Buffalo in the present time, which looks to refugee resettlement as a means to rejuvenate its distressed neighborhoods, starting with 11,000 refugees who have resettled in Buffalo since 2008. It stresses how Buffalo continues to receive the highest number of refugees in New York State, which afforded the city with a much-needed urban stimulus and jolted its lethargic public systems reeling from decades of regression.

Keywords:   Buffalo, Larkin building, rust belt cornerstone, urban stimulus, regression, refugee resettlement

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