News & Press

One Region Forward has released its Final Draft Plan – A New Way to Plan for Buffalo Niagara


1One Region Forward, the effort to foster a more sustainable, livable Buffalo Niagara for the 21st Century, has recently released its Final Draft PlanNow it is asking the community to provide its feedback on the draft until November 6, 2014, to ultimately be included in the Final Plan, to be released in January 2015.

This draft Regional Plan for Sustainable Development synthesizes almost three years of research, community outreach, collaboration and planning that has been conducted through the One Region Forward effort. It is a tool that decision-makers and community members can use to learn about different approaches for fostering regional collaboration on initiatives to increase the sustainability of Buffalo Niagara.

Check out the draft to find out how the region currently rates on several sustainability indicators based on the latest data, as well as how thousands of residents from throughout Buffalo Niagara think we should either continue these trends or reverse them.

The plan also discusses how Buffalo Niagara’s story is changing, from an old “rust belt” region to an evolving region reinventing itself in order to meet the economic, demographic, and environmental challenges of the 21st Century. It’s a story about how an old place is retooling itself through new people, ideas, and ways of collaborating to reimagine the way we use our land, get around, provide quality affordable housing, secure our food supply, and prepare for the challenges of climate change.

The plan is the result of close to three years of identifying the public’s vision for our future region, leveraging Buffalo Niagara’s strong planning base, thoroughly analyzing and collecting regional data, producing innovative ideas to increase our region’s sustainability, and determining strategies to turn these ideas into action. Perhaps most importantly, the plan is also the product of extensive community engagement, conducted at each stage of this planning process.


As a result of this process, 5 Big Ideas to Move One Region Forward, along with dozens of viable strategies to fulfill these ideas, have been developed. These ideas, which have been consistently expressed by community members, are:

  1. Create Great Places and a Thriving Economy through Efficient Land Use
  2. Connect Our Places by Expanding and Diversifying Our Transportation Options
  3. Provide Housing Choices in Neighborhoods that are Great Places to Live
  4. Strengthen Our Food Systems for a Healthier Population and Economy
  5. Conserve Energy, Promote Renewables and Prepare for  the Impacts of Climate Change

A team of more than 100 subject matter experts in partnership with residents have been outlining specific and practical actions to ensure that these ideas are realized in an effective and timely manner. But now One Region Forward wants to hear again what you think we need to do to become a more sustainable and viable region, and how to do this.

You can read the full Final Draft Plan in booklet form here, or download it here to print it in single-page format. Please send your comments by November 6, 2014, by either emailing or writing to:

UB Regional Institute
Attn: 1RF Final Draft Plan Comments
77 Goodell Street, Suite 302
Buffalo, NY 14203

For more information about the One Region Forward effort and how you can get involved today, visit