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Skyway to the Future

With all the coverage of the proposed development of the Buffalo Waterfront, Ran Webber’s “Skyway to the Future” is an important public opinion not being heard that could be easily integrated into existing development plans. This bold vision proposes keeping elements of the existing Skyway tying Buffalo’s past to the future; saving millions of dollars in demolition costs redesigning and reusing them as a green structure to house multi-use residential, retail, restaurant, commercial and public office space, as well as green atria, all with spectacular views of Lake Erie and Buffalo’s harbor, waterfront and downtown areas; in addition to creating a pedestrian walkway and tram from the inner harbor to the outer harbor. At least 30 important green technologies would be used and showcased in the building design such as: bio-diesel, photovoltaic systems, sunoptics prismatic skylights, smart glass, hydrogen fuel cell Storage, fryodiesel fuel production, biosolar solar cell technology, geothermal, wave cell electric power generation, solar hot water heating systems, green roof technology, grey water recycling, green chemistry, bio-polymers, storm water runoff systems, LEED certification technology, radiant floor heating systems, lightweight carbon fiber materials technology, high-performance/energy-efficient HVAC systems, integrated building systems design technology, high-tech thermal insulation technology, passive solar technology, rain and wastewater reclamation systems, vibrant abatement systems, high-tech thermal glass and glazing technology, urban turbines, bladed wind turbines, and waste biogas technology. The green roof design will offer park, recreational, and outdoor/indoor café and restaurant options, also with spectacular views. This exciting innovative structure will attract people to Buffalo from all over the world.

This proposal, and presentation video, can be seen at It has garnered interest and support from several local politicians and engineering and architectural firms.

Webber’s “Skyway to the Future” could be conceived as the centerpiece of green renaissance for Buffalo, making Buffalo a prototype and nexus of green commerce, including production, development, service, and use of green technologies. The authors hope to be able to unveil this vision of the Green Buffalo on Earth Day 2011. Stay tuned.

Dr. Sidney A. Stiebel, Long Island

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