One Region Forward - HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant
In one of the most significant steps forward for regional planning in Buffalo Niagara in decades, a $2 million HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant was awarded to a consortium of public sector and nonprofit partners from Erie and Niagara counties to develop a plan that supports affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. Over the next three years, UBRI and the UDP within the UB School of Architecture and Planning will work with such regional entities as the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council to develop planning, communications and technical assistance tools. The research team, working as part of the Buffalo Niagara Consortium, will develop a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development for the bi-county region, with a focus on housing, food systems and climate action planning. Additionally, the UDP and UBRI will oversee the creation of a Citizen Planning School to build capacity on sustainability issues and public facilitation techniques, hold regional sustainability public participation sessions and convene stakeholder groups comprised of regional experts and “citizen champions.” An online forum and open regional dialogue with policy information and analysis, webinars and technical assistance will support public engagement, knowledge transfer and capacity building on issues of sustainable development. The project is expected to be launched to the public in the fall of 2012 and continue through the end of 2014.