The Plan

1RF Draft Report

1RF Draft Report – The Work So Far & The Work Ahead


This Draft Report represents the first major public report summarizing the findings and recommendations of the One Region Forward planning and community learning process. Started in 2012, this work has woven together more than two years of research, community engagement, partnership building and planning. The draft outlines five big ideas and dozens of potential strategies and actions to move those ideas forward.

Public Comment on the 1RF Draft Report has now closed. A final draft plan incorporating public comments, an implementation section and indicators to measure progress is in the works. Look for the Final Draft Plan and the next round of public comment on October 15th

Public Comment on the Fair Housing Equity Assessment, a comprehensive assessment of equity issues in the region, along with strategies for addressing these issues in local and regional planning, is open until September 24th.

One Region Forward Draft Report – What you’ll find inside

Find the major research findings of what the data tells us about where the region is today and expressions of thousands of citizen voices on the direction people in the region want to see Buffalo Niagara go.

A new story for Buffalo Niagara

Buffalo Niagara is writing a new story about itself – a story about how an old “rust belt” region is retooling itself in the 21st century to meet the stiff challenge of how to live more sustainably in an era of economic change, demographic upheaval and environmental crisis.
It is a story of old places but new people, fresh ideas, and new ways for working together to use our land more wisely, get around more efficiently, create great places to live, ensure a healthy food supply, and meet the challenges of climate change and a transforming energy economy.

What Drives One Region Forward

Creating a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development requires a shared vision, strong engagement of stakeholders and community, building on a strong regional planning framework, solid research, generating new ideas for change, and organizing to put them into action.

What Drives 1RF

5 Big Ideas to Move One Region Forward

Moving One Region Forward is driven by collaboration, a solid foundation of planning in the region, community involvement and feedback,  and an objective analysis of data.

The draft outlines five big ideas and dozens of potential strategies and actions to move those ideas forward. Proposed strategies and actions, built by a team of 100+ subject matter experts, are detailed and provide the basic framework for moving the region toward a more sustainable, prosperous and opportunity-rich future.

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


Taking Action & More to Come

It’s a truism that plans are only as good as their implementation. One Region Forward has been designed from the beginning to promote the conditions and build a structure to ensure effective and timely implementation – even where it has been hard to get things done in the past.

The work to chart a course for moving One Region Forward will continue through the remainder of 2014 and additional components being shaped by ongoing community and stakeholder engagement will ultimately be included in the final plan.

The Work Continues:
Community engagement activities in the planning process — and what people had to say. The inventory continues to grow by the day.
• Descriptions and visualizations of several alternative scenarios of how the region could develop — depending on how we organize land use, transportation and settlement patterns.
Indicators that measure progress toward fulfillment of the plan’s vision and specific targets and timelines for moving forward.
• A detailed implementation agenda that specifies and prioritizes relevant and do-able action items, lead agencies to “own” those tasks, partners to help, resources and time frames for getting it done.
• Items that seem underdeveloped or may be contested are left on the list for now with the expectation that they will meet the reality check, be resolved, be identified as future aspirations, or simply be dropped.

 Fair Housing Equity Assessment

August 12, 2014 FHEA

Conducting a Fair Housing Equity Assessment (FHEA) is a requirement of the HUD regional planning grant process to ensure that issues of equity and opportunity are considered comprehensively in regional decision-making.

A team of equity stakeholders has been working with One Region Forward to complete a draft of the FHEA for public review. This document examines the roots of Buffalo-Niagara’s racial, ethnic and geographic segregation and exclusion, obstacles to solving these issues, and strategies for overcoming these barriers through One Region Forward’s regional planning process.

You can read the document in its entirety and view the appendix here.

Email your comments to or offer your feedback section by section using the Draft FHEA Feedback Tool.

Alternatively, comments may be mailed to:
UB Regional Institute
Attn: 1RF Draft Report Comments
77 Goodell Street, Suite 302
Buffalo, NY 14203

More to Come…


Additional draft documents will be made available on the One Region Forward website through the remainder of 2014. Resources and planning documents to look out for include technical reports on food systems planning, climate change action, and a planning resource for coordinating housing investments across the region.