Citizen Planning School

2015 Learning Sessions & Workshops


Learning sessions with academic experts, planning practitioners, community leaders and fellow citizens explore key issues in planning and sustainability. Citizen Planners and Champions receive practical tools and knowledge, network with others active in their communities and take part in question and answer sessions.


SESSION 2: Coping with a  Turbulent Age– April 18, 2015
RSVP Today:

Event Details:

Location: UB South Campus, 146 Diefendorf Hall, 3500 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14214

Driving directions:
Free Parking Available in Diefendorf Lot. 

Light refreshments provided, but please remember to bring a bag lunch if you wish to eat a meal at lunch time.

Bike Parking Available between the at the University Station NFTA transit station and the Main Circle Bus Loop at Hayes Road and Main Circle. More info here:
Public Transportation: NFTA Stop – University Station



 Session Details:

> MORNING SESSION: Building Blocks for Sustainability

10 -11:00 am  –  Aaron Bartley, JD – Executive Director and Founder, PUSH Buffalo, will present on he topic of  land Use. He will explore the ways we can remake and re-imagine our existing cities and towns to be more sustainable while ensuring economic and social equity for all of our residents. Kelly Dixon, MUP Transportation Planner, Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, will present on the topic of transportation.  She will explore alternatives to car oriented development to allow for a greater range of transportation choices and modes. Maryam Khojasteh, MUP Research Support Specialist, Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, University at Buffalo, will cover a range of initiatives that are emerging to address the sustainability of the design and operations of our food systems. A session on Housing and Community Development, presented by Johanna Walczyk – Program Officer for Local Initiatives Support Corporation – Buffalo (LISC), will shed a light on how affordable WNY housing really is and how policy plays a role.

11:20 -11:50am  – Q&A with speakers and guest panelists.

Guest Panelists:

Kara Oliver, Program Specialist, National Federation for Just Communities of WNY [Champion for Change 2014]
Della Miller, [Champion for Change 2014]
Ashley Smith Communications Coordinator, Elmwood Village Association [Champion for Change 2014]

12 pm Networking Lunch  – Bring your own bagged lunch or grab a bite at a restaurant in the area and get to know your fellow citizen planners.


openbflo1:00 pm  –  WORKSHOP OPTION 1: Organizing for Change – Understanding how the system works and knowing how to influence outcomes. Open Buffalo will present a “how-to” from a citizens’ perspective.

1:00 pm  –  WORKSHOP OPTION 2: Mapping Tools for Change – The “citizen mapping” workshop will offer basics on online mapping tools that can be used by citizen planners to advocate for change in their neighborhood. Participants will learn the basics of online mapping tools and data and get a chance to create their own maps that can be shared over the web and embedded into websites, blogs, or social media feeds. 

Champions for Change session begins at 2:10 pm, following the learning session.

Download the Learning Session 2 Program.

 SESSION 1: Fundamentals for a More Sustainable Future – March 7, 2015 || Full Session Available Online here 

> MORNING SESSION: Sustainability: The Big Picture

2015Session110 -11:00 am  –  Understanding “Sustainability” will explore the concept of sustainability and what it looks like in practice with Jessica Kozlowski-Russell – Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, Sustainability Office, University at Buffalo. Then One Region Forward – The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Our Region will discuss how citizens can be central figures in community-based actions with Bart Roberts, AICP – Research Assistant Professor at UB Regional Institute and project manager for One Region Forward.

Morning Q&A with morning speakers and guest panelists.

Guest panelists:

Laurie Stillwell – Assistant Director of Planning, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
David Hahn Baker – President, I-O Consultants
Nicholas Rajkovich, PhD, AIA – Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University at Buffalo

> AFTERNOON SESSION : Planning and Design for a More Sustainable Future

12:30 -1:10 pm  –  Jason Knight, PhD, AICPAssistant Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, SUNY Buffalo State will explore The Way We Plan via the land use regulations and planning policies that shape the way we live. Sean Burkholder, MLA – Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University at Buffalo will explore the role of Urban Design  and  its connections to planning as part of  sustainable “placemaking”  in neighborhoods and communities across our region. Afternoon Q&A with afternoon session speakers and guest panelists.

Guest panelists:

Ron Fraser – Site Administrator, Small Town Civics Website
Nadine Marrero, AICP – Director of Planning, City of Buffalo

Download the Learning Session 1 Program