Workshop: What's Next for Buffalo Niagara?

A long-range planning workshop for the city-region

New UB Downtown Medical Campus

A view of Buffalo through the windows of the new UB medical school on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. Photo: Douglas Levere

On October 24, 2018, the School of Architecture and Planning will host “What’s Next for Buffalo Niagara?” – a day-long workshop to chart a long-range course of planning and action for an urban region in the 21st century.

The “What’s Next?” workshop will team local stakeholders and subject matter experts with urban planning scholars from across North America and beyond to identify the threats and opportunities which the city-region must prepare for and respond to, now and in the years to come.

The workshop coincides with the annual conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, a gathering of nearly a thousand planning scholars from across North American and beyond. We hope some will come to Buffalo a day early to participate in the workshop.

There will also be a Public Forum following the workshop on Friday, October 26

A long view of the future

While many Buffalonians are enjoying a sense that their beloved home town has made a comeback from decades of decline, the next fifty years are likely to be times of significant disruption. It is important to take the long view of change.

How will our region be impacted by climate change? How can we respond to profound shifts in labor markets and the nature of work in general? What are possible and desirable futures for neighborhoods in the city and beyond? What can we do to shape a metropolitan form that is efficient, healthy, and fair? How do we fulfill the promise of democratic governance and solve our most pressing problems?

Visionaries with expertise will be wanted

The price of admission for workshop participants is to know something about the subject matter areas the workshop will address.

  • Environment and energy
  • Economy and jobs
  • Housing and neighborhoods
  • Land use, transportation, and metropolitan form
  • Civic culture and governance

The workshop is open to faculty and graduate students planning to attend the 2018 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning national conference in Buffalo, and to Buffalo Niagara residents with specific expertise in one or more of the five subject matter areas or positions as stakeholders in organizations or agencies active in those areas.

How to Apply

While public engagement for planning often invites one and all to participate, this day-long workshop asks participants to come with subject matter knowledge and expertise relevant to the task at hand.

However, all members of the community are welcome to attend the Public Forum following the workshop.

The “What’s Next? for Buffalo Niagara” workshop seeks to marry the knowledge of academic researchers in urban planning with the experience of local subject matter experts from government, not-for-profit organizations, community groups, and business entities to produce well-informed recommendations about how an urban region can meet the future in the 21st century.

Each team will consist of three (3) local subject matter experts or stakeholders, three (3) visitors to the ACSP conference, one (1) member of the UB faculty, and one (1) graduate planning student from UB. Each topic area will be the focus of two of the eight-member teams.

Participants will receive an advance briefing summarizing recent planning and development activity; current metrics on population, income, employment, housing, land use, transportation, and environment; and background on identified “mega-trends” for the decades ahead.

Accepted participants from outside the Buffalo area will receive a $750 honorarium intended to cover the cost of an additional hotel night in Buffalo and other incidentals.

Interested individuals are asked to provide a brief description of areas of expertise and experience and explaining their motivation for participating. Applicants should identify which of the five topic areas they would like to address. Please include a short version resume.

Participants will be selected and panels constructed with an eye toward ensuring members collectively have appropriate knowledge for the topic area, provide a range of perspectives on the issues at hand, and engage a diversity of participants by age, race and ethnicity, and gender.

Workshop Details

"The What's Next for Buffalo Niagara?" workshop will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in 403 Hayes Hall, UB South Campus (8 am - 5 pm). UB's South Campus is accessible from the Hyatt Regency and other downtown hotels by Metro Rail. A light breakfast will be served starting at 8 am and lunch will be provided.

A public presentation and forum

The workshop will generate a set of statements in general and around the five topic areas that describe key threats and opportunities for the Buffalo Niagara city-region, sketch long-term visions for possible and desirable futures, and identify both immediate and long-term actions that need to be taken to secure such futures.

Workshop results will be presented and discussed at a special public session of the ACSP conference. The public is invited to join ACSP planning scholars to hear and respond to the recommendations made by the participants in the workshop.

10/26/18

Oct 26, 2018
Activists, officials, citizens of the Buffalo Niagara community and planning scholars are invited to a special public session of the national Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning conference to consider the future of Buffalo Niagara 50 years from now.

Web and print versions of the results will also be published so that this conversation about the future of Buffalo Niagara might be further extended, deepened, and sustained to inform ongoing planning and action in the city-region.

Sponsored by:

Hon. Anthony M. Masiello

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