In an effort that began in 2012, One Region Forward is the centerpiece of UBRI’s sustainability planning endeavors and continues to guide regional sustainability thinking. Supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, One Region Forward, a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, was a three-year, collaborative, broad-based effort to guide and promote sustainable development, land use, transportation, housing, energy and climate, access to food, and more for Buffalo Niagara. It is a reaction to the serious challenges the Buffalo Niagara region was facing— stagnant population, a long-struggling economy, urban sprawl without growth, costly and inefficient infrastructure, and a burdensome legacy of environmental degradation. It combines data-driven research and public engagement with planning and action to help us meet the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st century.

One Region Forward was a major step forward for the sustainability of the region, but the positive trajectory could be halted or reversed without a way to keep the community informed and engaged. One Region Forward as a plan and an initiative is not designed to be prescriptive, but rather, is a series of tools to support local decision-making. Our focus today is to help the community (citizen champions, nonprofits, and local governments) create and utilize compelling data in their work to influence positive change in our region.

We support collaborative partnerships, community learning and capacity building that better align local planning efforts and public/private investments with our region’s shared sustainability agenda. In recognition of the broad based, community-driven effort that shaped One Region Forward, the American Planning Association (APA) awarded the initiative the National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach in 2016.

Visit the One Region Forward website.