Working together for sustainable development in a diverse and complex region means finding a way to let in all of the many differing voices of our citizenry. One Region Forward will provide a way for broad community leadership, elected officials, the business community, our dense network of community-based organizations, and concerned citizens from city, suburb, village, and rural areas to participate in a conversation that will drive planning and action.
Learn more about how collaboration among all the members of our regional community will bring sustainability to Buffalo Niagara and move One Region Forward.
A truly citizen-driven plan must provide opportunities for all members of the community to express themselves at key points in the planning process. One Region Forward will feature a series of “Community Congresses” to shape the vision for the plan, review concepts in development, critique a draft plan, and approve a final plan.
To ensure that the broadest possible array of perspectives are represented through the Community Congresses, One Region Forward will reach out through Buffalo Niagara’s dense network of not-for-profit, community-based, volunteer, fraternal, and interest-group organizations. The Community Congresses will be open for everyone to participate in the conversation.
Community Congress Meeting – Vision and Values: January 29, 2013 or February 2, 2013. We’ll be discussing where we want to go as a region. We have done a lot of planning in our region, with thousands of citizens voices shaping those plans. The final vision will guide the work of One Region Forward.
If you did not have the opportunity to attend, but want to weigh in, please take the Regional Vision & Values Feedback Tool to make your voice heard.
This online conversation will be available until May 31, 2013.
Read more about the Regional Vision and Values process
Local Government Council
The mayors, supervisors, council members, and legislators from Buffalo Niagara’s 64 cities, villages, and towns will be among those most responsible for the policies, programs, and projects needed to implement our plan for sustainable development. That’s why One Region Forward is convening a Local Government Council to help shape a plan they can put into action.
The Local Government Council will also provide an opportunity for front-line sustainability implementers to inform the work of developing information resources, analytical tools, management metrics, and precedent material that will help local officials make the plan a reality.
Private Sector Council
Sustainability makes good business sense and One Region Forward will work to ensure that the plan advances the business goals of our private sector employers even as it makes our region more sustainable. Toward that end, a Private Sector Council will create a two-way conversation between area business leaders and the One Region Forward team.
Private sector council membership will be limited to representatives from the Partnership Development Advisory Council and each local Chamber of Commerce. This is intended to ensure a consistent conversation among business community peers throughout the project to create a plan they can all support.
The hard work of crafting the details of a draft plan will be led by a series of working teams focused on our five focus areas: Land Use and Development, Transportation and Mobility, Housing and Neighborhoods, Food Access and Justice, and Climate Change Action.
The Working Teams will be composed of subject matter experts, key stakeholders, citizens and advocates in the five focus areas. Both Working Team Members and Working Team Contributors will help chart a course for planning documents that will guide the work of One Region Forward.
Working Teams will translate public vision and values into goals, action items, and progress metrics — all of which will be submitted to the Community Congresses for review and approval.
Read more about Charting a Course for One Region Forward
Everyone knows that plans are only as good as the changes they implement. That’s why One Region Forward will form Implementation Councils responsible for putting the policies, programs, and projects of the plan into action. These councils will be made up of those key actors who have the capacity to make specific projects a reality.
The Implementation Councils will also be responsible for capturing and sharing what we learn about making each type of project happen. What we learn about improving village “Main Streets,” protecting farmland, or revitalizing urban neighborhoods in one location can be adapted and applied in another similar location. The more we implement the plan, the more we learn, the more effective we become.
Implementation Council Documents and Resources will be posted once they commence meeting in late Spring 2013
Ongoing direction of the planning and action process is overseen by a broad-based consortium including our metropolitan planning organization, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Erie and Niagara counties, the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, representatives of other municipal governments, our regional business alliance, and organizations devoted to fair housing, community development, and more.
This structure will ensure that the work that results has broad-based support from the wide range of agencies and organizations required to put the recommendations of the plan effectively into action.
An informed and active citizenry is one of the essential ingredients to the success of the initiative. One Region Forward will recruit and train a cadre of “Citizen Champions” who will be able to take the message of sustainable development back to their home towns and neighborhoods. A citizen planning school will be organized using on-line media and providing in-person instruction to promote awareness and understanding of the complex and interconnected issues that define true sustainability.
In Spring 2013, we will introduce our citizen planning school and share information on how to get involved.