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.

3/4/13
Dean Robert Shibley argues that Buffalo’s character is directly attributable to the fundamental relationships among our waters, our radial and grid street plan and our park system.

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.

1/20/12

The Center for Urban Studies has joined itself to a massive effort: a proposal by the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority to restructure, redevelop and rehabilitate downtown Buffalo's seriously declining Commodore Perry neighborhood and turn it into the vibrant, sustainable community it once was.


10/16/14

The AIANYS has recognized Linsey Graff (MArch '10) for her leadership and commitment to community outreach, education and diversity in the profession.

9/4/17

Incoming students jumped right into the classroom on a daylong orientation tour of Buffalo's world-class architecture and urban design. A key component of orientation, the tour introduces UB's future architects and planners to the city as a source of inspiration and site of investigation.

4/29/13

Social entrepreneur and MUP grad Darren Cotton joins four other enterprising UB students in sharing their experience in starting a business or social enterprise.

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.