Planning great places.

Planning for and designing great places has always been at the heart of UBRI’s work. In its early years, UBRI’s placemaking efforts, grounded in community engagement and consensus building, would help shift thinking. Working together with our partners and the community, we began promoting our region’s unique assets—its natural resources, strategic location, unique architecture and historic commercial corridors and neighborhoods—to bring density back to the urban core. Today, placemaking is critical to our ability as a region to attract new companies and a talented workforce and grow existing businesses. People are attracted to great places. The region’s built environment must create accessible job centers and vibrant, livable communities, serviced and connected by sustainable infrastructure. UBRI has been planning with our regional partners in the short and long term to make the right design and placemaking moves to ensure that revitalization efforts continue and that people know Buffalo as a great place to live, work and grow a business.

Strengthening the core.

Our efforts have focused on redeveloping downtown cores of cities, towns, and villages, revitalizing diverse communities and better connecting them with employment centers, and increasing access to open spaces and waterfronts while protecting natural resources. Strategies promote traditional main streets and walkable commercial corridors that foster mixed-use development to support small business growth. We’re helping to better connect people to jobs by planning for sustainable infrastructure that promotes walkability and transit connections, and transit-oriented development (TOD). The region is prioritizing investments in public spaces and waterfronts that add value to communities by contributing to a sense of place. These spaces are increasingly important to residents for safe exercise, relaxation, and recreation. In the most disadvantaged neighborhoods, it’s critical to invest in community anchors, infrastructure and capacity building to ensure change is driven by the community. These, and other transformational ecosystem moves that focus on strengthening anchor institutions, repurposing former industrial lands and preserving historic buildings, promote economic resilience.

Growing the economy by attracting companies and talent. 

At UBRI, we continue to be committed to designing and implementing placemaking efforts that create strong, resilient communities through data-driven decision making, best practices research, public engagement, and other strategies. By working to transform our region into a vibrant, thriving place with modern amenities and infrastructure, high-quality services, and well-designed, friendly neighborhoods that connect people with jobs, we will help create an economic climate conducive to attracting private investment, entrepreneurial activity and a robust workforce.