ABOUT THE PROJECT
Billion-dollar strategies to build upon the region’s million-dollar success
In response in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s challenge to each of New York State’s ten regional economic development councils to develop five-year strategic plans, UBRI assisted the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council in developing A Strategy for Prosperity—a comprehensive economic development plan for Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. The Plan won one of four “Best Plan” awards in 2011, and brought home $100.3 million in state funding for the region in the first year. The Plan guides state funding decisions and stimulates local investment in regional priorities. It aims to make fundamental improvements to the WNY economy, to ensure sustainable and long-term growth in jobs and income in our region, and to contribute to the resurgence of the broader New York State economy.
UBRI WORK & SOLUTIONS
Strategies grounded in data, analysis and experience
A Strategy for Prosperity presents an accurate and objective picture of the region’s economic landscape along with key performance measures and indicators critical to guiding decision making and policy action. It addresses both systemic issues fundamental to the success of our entire economy —workforce, smart growth, and entrepreneurship; and responds to the needs of key industry sectors where our region has strength and can capitalize on comparative advantages. But, data analysis was only one piece of the puzzle. The planning and implementation process is the product of an aggressive and broadly inclusive process involving stakeholders from five counties, representatives of a wide array of private, public, and non-profit organizations, and leaders from important industry sectors. The work also engaged the broader public online and in a series of interactive forums. To date more than 3,000 voices have contributed to the project.
View the Work
WNY REDC Reports
A PLAN THAT CAPTURES THE ASPIRATIONS OF A REGION
A home‐grown plan that is uniquely tailored to the region
To date more than 3,000 voices contributed to A Strategy for Prosperity. The planning and implementation process is the product of an aggressive and broadly inclusive process involving stakeholders from five counties, representatives of a wide array of private, public, and not-for- profit organizations, and leaders from important industry sectors. The work also engaged the broader public online and in a series of interactive forums. It is the product of literally thousands of hours of work from hundreds of volunteers.
BUILDING OFF THE SUCCESS
Billion-Dollar Strategies to Build Upon the Region’s Million-Dollar Success
UBRI was the natural choice to assist with the design and development of the Buffalo Billion Investment Development Plan building upon the priorities that are most important to address WNY’s opportunities and challenges as laid out in the REDC Plan. We served as on-the-ground secretariat, leveraging knowledge of the local context and stakeholders to maximize the efficiency of national consultants to advance the Plan and its strategic initiatives. UBRI contributed to the development of investment options—building on findings from baseline research and guided by stakeholder aspirations expressed through public engagement work.
TURNING STRATEGIES INTO ACTION
Moving Ideas into Action that Support the Region’s Strategies
We continue to work as a member of the Buffalo Billion Delivery Unit providing senior project management across all Buffalo Billion investment strategies; providing research and analysis required for implementation; providing assistance with the development of a coordinated cross-initiative work plan; and helping with the development of the strategies, programs, and supports around all Signature Initiatives. We provide transparency about what is being accomplished through clear, compelling information. We ensure that the promises of the Buffalo Billion are being delivered on time and on budget and in line with our strategies for prosperity.
BUFFALO BILLION II: EAST SIDE CORRIDOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FUND
Community-driven projects and priorities aimed at moving the East Side forward
Phase II of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion investment plan focuses on ensuring that all Western New Yorkers have an improved quality of life, and includes programs targeted at revitalization in some of the City’s most underserved neighborhoods. As part of this strategy, $65M is dedicated to the revitalization of Buffalo’s East Side through transformational capital investments in targeted areas along four East Side Commercial Corridors.
UBRI worked with ESD and the City of Buffalo to develop an inclusionary strategy for investment through this East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund. The project involved broad East Side stakeholder participation and a unique partnership with other funders that results in a solid plan for investment and a unifying voice for the community. Through the establishment of goals, an analysis of economic and land use data, a look at past investments, and in-depth stakeholder engagement, UBRI worked with ESD to develop a portfolio of catalytic projects aimed at improving economic conditions on Buffalo’s East Side.
GRAPHICS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Communicating Data Effectively
We acknowledge that if the results of our analyses aren’t clearly communicated and understood, then action is unlikely to follow. We use information graphics to cut through statistical clutter and communicate the essence of quantitative data in an accurate and objective way. No cookie cutter approaches here. Each project presents new data and new opportunities to make it understandable to audiences.
View our work across the WNY Regional Economic Reports:
2014 Planning Excellence Award for Best Practice
Western NY Section of the American Planning Association (APA) and the APA NY Upstate Chapter
The team at UBRI has played an integral role in shaping our economic development planning and implementation in recent years.