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Potential City Design Competition In Works

Right, Crystal Surdyk, city principal planner, discusses Designing to Live Sustainably, a nonprofit Buffalo organization, that works to challenge traditional design aspects to be more environmentally responsible. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

There might be a new design competition in Jamestown to improve the look of the city while being environmentally responsible.

On Wednesday, Crystal Surdyk, city principal planner, lead a discussion during the city Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission meeting on the Designing to Live Sustainably, which is a nonprofit Buffalo organization that works toward challenging traditional design aspects to be more environmentally responsible.

Surdyk is the executive director of the board for the 100% volunteer group that started in 2009.

Prior to working for the city last year, Surdyk, who is a Falconer native, used to work in the Buffalo area.

“There are a lot of layers into ‘greening,”’ she said.

To inspire new design aspects, Surdyk said Designing to Live Sustainably runs a biyearly planning competition. She said the last competition the group held was focused on redesigning a former abandon Kmart building in the Buffalo area.

“It’s a community engagement tool to get the community talking about what should be done,” she said.

Ideas from the competition on how to renovate the former Kmart included having a place for flea markets, planting vertical gardens, sports complex and community center.

Surdyk said no project from the three design competitions Designing to Live Sustainably has held has come to fruition, However, she said the competition has sparked ideas for other projects.

Kathleen Eads, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts executive director and co-chairwoman of the commission, said a design competition like that in Jamestown could inspire building owners if they see the proposed ideas.

Greg Rabb, Jamestown Community College professor and co-chairman of the commission, said a design competition could help create ideas on what to do with Potter’s Terrace/AIDS Memorial Park/Wood Park, which was closed last month for safety concerns.

For more information on Designing to Live Sustainably, visit d2ls.org.

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