Live and Study in a Global City

See how Buffalo is building an urban renaissance around its waterfront location, legacy of world-class urban design and architecture and vibrant, walkable neighborhoods.

A great school of architecture and planning relies on a great city for its inspiration. From internationally celebrated buildings and parks and a bustling Lake Erie waterfront to lively urban neighborhoods and a vibrant immigrant community, Buffalo offers the aspiring architect or planner an ideal setting for living and learning.

2/18/19
See It Through Buffalo is an international project of the School of Architecture and Planning to document the complex relationship between a university and its city.

Buffalo sits on the U.S.-Canadian border, on the edge of Lake Erie and just south of Niagara Falls, providing the region an abundance of natural resources and economic advantage, today and throughout the region’s history. As the terminus of the Erie Canal, Buffalo was once one of the nation’s largest ports and remains a symbolic connection between east and west.

Buffalo’s period of great wealth brought master architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, H.H. Richardson, and Daniel Burnham to the city to design some of their most important buildings. Wright’s Martin House and Sullivan’s Guaranty Building, in particular, have inspired generations of architects worldwide. Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park, laid out Buffalo’s network of parks and parkways. Buffalo is also home to the works of Louise Bethune, revered as “America’s first woman architect,” as well as a world-class collection of artworks and heritage sites. 

In the midst of an urban renaissance, Buffalo is again a center of progressive planning and design – a distinction that has much to do with our students and faculty. The School of Architecture and Planning engages the city, its buildings, landscapes, industries and communities as labs for research, experimentation, and intervention, and is a primary contributor to the region in everything from climate-related planning to industry-applied design technologies.

Related news

7/19/19
A graduate urban planning studio on the feasibility of innovation districts in Buffalo has earned the inaugural "Best Student Paper" award in a national competition organized by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
6/26/19
Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) and the School of Architecture and Planning have launched “Building Together,” a partnership to engage community input in the medical center’s redevelopment of the long vacant 17-acre Kensington Heights property.
6/12/19
An exhibition that will travel across the country over the next two years to reveal the little-known history of architects as activists for social justice has landed in Buffalo.
5/21/19
Working in consultation with high ranking planners from the City of Buffalo and real estate development professionals, Professor Ernest Sternberg’s MUP studio investigated the feasibility of locating an innovation district within the City of Buffalo.

A legacy city in the midst of an economic restructuring, the region is riding a wave of reinvestment focused on its urban core, waterfront, and neighborhoods. Yet Buffalo also presents extreme urban challenges — such as population decline, vacancy, and economic disparity. With local-to-global relevance, design and planning innovations developed here in Buffalo emerge as best practices for application to our professions and city-regions around the world.

This historic city is also a place to explore and enjoy. Glide by Buffalo’s waterfront grain elevators in a kayak, savor local cuisine, or visit one of the city’s world-class art galleries. The region’s diverse citizenry is enriched by UB’s status as one of the nation’s top universities for international student enrollment. Two professional sports teams, lively nightlife, and fun, affordable neighborhoods round out the city’s offerings.

Buffalo is truly a global city and a rich context in which to study and experience architecture and planning.