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Published on April 15th, 2013 | by growwny


What is D2LS?


What is d2ls?

Designing to Live Sustainably (d2ls), a non-profit group of community change leaders holding a uniquely highly inclusive design competition and celebration of all the designs submitted in two upcoming events. This innovative competition is open to anyone with a vision of how to help make Buffalo more sustainable. The competition welcomes participants to collectively improve the city through radical collaboration. It is our feeling that the essential and fundamental change required to live sustainably can only emerge through a conversation. D2LS is opening this dialogue.

D2LS seeks designs from every demographic and discipline to be catalysts in driving this conversation. From interiors and new or adaptive re-use built environment to landscape and site plans. From all school levels through university students to professionals and block clubs.  From those who have only a great box of crayons to those with sophisticated design software. From hypothetical to real and specific sites, we welcome them all.

To be sure everyone who wants to share their vision knows that it can easily be shared on a presentation board, for those not familiar with them we have a power point available on our website ( that shows how to do one.

Registration to submit a design is open until April 18th, and the designs are due by May 3rd.  There are 11 organizations offering an award for a design that best responds to its mission and as expressed under AWARDS in the website.

On May 18th, every one of the 2013 responses to our outreach will be displayed at the CEPA Gallery on Main St. in a celebration of creativity at:


Imagine Buffalo

a conversation about Buffalo leapfrogging overbuilt cities

The event, from 6:00 to 9:00, will be just the start of the conversation, kicking-off what we are committed to doing, as our mission statement says, “to inspire the public and private sectors to start a dialogue on how developing sustainability in Buffalo will create long term environmental, social, cultural, and economic benefits, and empower youth to reclaim our Queen City.”


The celebration will have some acoustic music, participatory activities, and a lot of opportunity to share thinking about the designs that are hanging and audience thinking about sustainability in general. There will be a chance to vote for a People’s Choice award and win some door prizes. Awards will be presented at 8:00.

What happens to the competition submissions after the competition is over?

The award winning designs and those selected for their diversity of thinking and presentation will be displayed at the Music Is Art Festival this summer.  All others will be returned to their designers after they come down at CEPA.  They will also be formatted into an electronic slide show and made available on our website.

Why is this type of design competition important? How will it impact Buffalo?

The Designing to Live Sustainably competition is important because it starts a new paradigm of never before offered opportunity for everyone with an idea about what they would like to see Buffalo become to share that vision. Although there are awards, no design will go unacknowledged and not displayed. Even if it is not an award winner, it will help drive the thinking about living sustainably in Buffalo. Other competitions are for a narrower focus of disciplines, or specifically, for example, students only, professionals only.

Having just returned from a visit to the old campus at Western Washington University where I taught Environmental Studies, and “Sustainable Seattle”, it is clearer than ever that Buffalo, and the Buffalo-Niagara Region, is poised to leapfrog overbuilt cities surrounded by an overdeveloped region, to sustainability. We, as a community can make that happen. So, we aim to get the community to see its potential for leapfrogging, and expect to start collecting ideas for the 2014 version on May 18th, and at the Music Is Art Festival.


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