Tools & Resources

Queen City in the 21st Century: Comprehensive Plan

Screenshot of the first page of Queen City in the 21st Century: Comprehensive PlanDownload PDF or View Online

City of Buffalo

The Queen City in the 21s Century (February 2006) is a twenty year comprehensive plan created by the Office of Strategic Planning and adopted by the Common Council in 2006.  Its aim is to use Smart Growth strategies to reinvigorate the city as a place and regional hub within the greater “Golden Horseshoe” mega region extending from Toronto to Rochester.  The plans’ other key principles are sustainability and working from the concept of “fix the basics, build on assets.”  The multifaceted plan recommends the implementation of many specific tools, but broadly, the plan focuses on the economy, the community, the environment, infrastructure, financial capacity and control, and planning and zoning, across the following themes:

  1. Delivering quality public services.
  2. Maintaining public infrastructure.
  3. Transforming Buffalo’s economy.
  4. Reconstructing the schools.
  5. Rebuilding neighborhoods.
  6. Restoring the Olmsted, Ellicott, and waterfront systems.
  7. Protecting and restoring the urban fabric.

The plan stresses the importance of adopting a form-based land use and zoning code that will encourage reinvestment and reinforce the city’s traditional neighbors that are walkable and mixed-use in nature. The land use plan will focus on three investment corridors identified in the city which include:

  • Tonawanda-Waterfront Corridor
  • South Buffalo-East Side Rail Corridor
  • Main Street-Downtown Corridor

The plan recommends an investment program that synthesizes large scale economic development initiatives with fine-grained revitalization of housing and neighborhoods. The plan aligns with multiple city and regional plans, including (but not limited to) the GBNRTC’s 2030 Plan and the Framework for Regional Growth.  It also provides a framework for all other planning initiatives in the city including The Queen City Hub, the Queen City Waterfront, the Olmsted Parks Plan, and various other neighborhood and district plans. The comprehensive nature of this plan aligns it with many of the Livability principles and HUD groups.  Among its many goals, the plan envisions multi-modal transit and public transit improvements; housing and economic development location coordination; neighborhood and social investments in public education and the city’s cultural life, attention to climate change causes and remedies, and restructuring economic development agencies.  The plan ends with an implementation strategy. The comprehensive plan is not seen as a prescriptive document spelling out every detail of future development within the city, but serves as a strategic guide and allows the city to adapt to changing internal and external conditions. Thus, the plan recommends that the city review the document every five years to ensure its continued relevance in the development of the city.