Bart Roberts is an AICP-certified urban planner and researcher who specializes in bringing together research and practice to advance projects related to sustainability, community development, and public participation. Bart leads much of UBRI’s work related to community engagement and sustainable development and is currently overseeing our work with Imagine LaSalle, the community engagement process guiding the transformation of the former LaSalle Park into the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park on Buffalo’s lower west side.
Having joined UBRI in 2009, Bart has worked on a wide range of projects focusing on diverse issues at various geographic scales. In 2011, Bart led the effort to secure a $2 million grant from the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities to launch One Region Forward, a regional planning effort to build tools and strategies for advancing sustainable development across Erie and Niagara counties. He continues to support that program, with planning advisement, research, community engagement, and local capacity building.
Additional projects Bart has led for UBRI include: overseeing planning and community engagement support for Rain Check—Buffalo Sewer Authority’s green infrastructure program; directing research for the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity’s foundational study The Racial Equity Dividend: Buffalo’s Great Opportunity; overseeing the planning process for Tonawanda Tomorrow, a federally-funded economic development program preparing the Town in wake of the NRG Huntley coal-powered plant closure; launching the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities technical assistance program for Buffalo Niagara municipalities; and managing the public engagement for Niagara Street Now, the City of Buffalo’s streetscape and green infrastructure transformation of a 3-mile long corridor that runs parallel to the Niagara River.
Beyond Bart’s project-based work at UBRI, he is a clinical faculty member with UB’s department of urban and regional planning, where he coordinates career development opportunities for graduate students in the urban planning and real estate development programs.
Prior to joining UBRI in 2009, Bart served as the lead analyst for the management accountability program CitiStat Buffalo, where he oversaw the development and analysis of performance metrics for services delivered by the City of Buffalo. Bart holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Vassar College, and a master’s in urban planning from the University at Buffalo, where he received the Dean’s Certificate and Best Professional Project Award from the department.
A born and bred Buffalonian, Bart lives in Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood with his wife Kristin and two sons Griffin and Brady. When not tackling home improvement projects or chasing the boys around the house, Bart enjoys playing soccer and ice hockey, tailgating in Orchard Park, and relaxing on the beaches of Southern Ontario.