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Author: Seth Amman
Title: Flowers that Connect
Category: Justice & equity
Description: In 2016 I purchased a vacant lot in the Cold Springs neighborhood of Buffalo. Redlined by banks, disinvestment over decades is pretty clear here. About 40% of the neighborhood is vacant land today. To create sustainable, transit-oriented housing - developed by the firm - it took years to build all the financing and pieces of this project. Yet, with the uncertainty of a global pandemic, the project stalled and was seemingly doomed. But, I wasn't ready to forget the neighborhood and an urban living piece of art came into focus. Instead of starting construction, a wildflower art installation was created to support occasional encounters. Friends, family, and their kids gathered to mark out the pattern, till the soil, and plant the seeds. Garden hoses were donated and the next-door neighbor freely gave access to his water spigot. Over the months, a sense of community was created, allowing me to form new friendships and exchange of ideas. By being here to care for the flowers I was here to listen to the community as well. When the building does start back up again, it will be cultivated with a better connection to this neighborhood and its people.