The Plan

Workshop Documents and Overview

Two Hours, Five Workshops, 57 Maps and 350 Participants.
Learn what it was like to be at a Scenario Planning Community Congress Workshop and what citizens had to say.

Here’s a run-down of what went on at the five Community Congress Workshops from November 12 through November 16th, 2013:

congressTesting Our Regional Vision and Values. The Community Congress workshops are a follow-up to a series of meetings held in January and February 2013 where citizens had an opportunity to express their perspectives on the vision and values that should inform a plan for sustainability in Buffalo Niagara.

Mapping a Future Approach to Land Use, Development, Housing and Transportation for Our Region. Participants at the meetings had a hands-on opportunity to show where and how they think Buffalo Niagara should grow between now and the mid-21st century. After a brief introductory video and presentation, citizens were asked to get specific about what they wanted to keep and what they wanted to change– in their neighborhood, in their town, city, or village, and all across both counties.

Learn How to Bring Us to Your CommunityWorking in small groups with large scale maps of the two counties, citizens showed graphically where they think housing, jobs, and transportation facilities should go and what forms they should take.

View the maps that citizens created


Interested in hosting a workshop in your community? We’ll bring the activity to you!

It’s easy! Learn how you can get your organization or group of citizens involved in mapping their vision for the future of Erie and Niagara counties by deciding on things like what to protect, where to grow, and how to get around.

Learn more about One Region Forward’s Workshops On The Road


Documents and Materials from the Workshops

Watch the introductory video that helped frame the mapping activity

pdf Community Congress Presentation Nov 2013

pdf Rules of the Game

pdf Tabletop Map Annotated Legend

pdf Participant Guidebook

pdf Place Type  Chip Chart and Guide

pdf A Guide to Different Approaches

pdf Place Type Chips

pdf Buffalo Niagara Regional Map for Activity

Community Congress Workshop Materials


Community Congress workshops photos and workshop summaries

Amherst Central HS, Amherst, NY, Nov 12, 2013

photos Photos from the workshop

pdf Meeting Summary

City Honors School, Buffalo, NY, Nov 13, 2013

photos Photos from the workshop

pdf Meeting Summary

Parkdale Elementary School, East Aurora, NY, Nov 14, 2013

photos Photos from the workshop

pdf Meeting Summary

Starpoint Central HS, Pendleton, NY, Nov 15, 2013

photos Photos from the workshop

pdf Meeting Summary

Niagara Power Project Visitors Center, Lewiston, NY, Nov 16, 2013

photos Photos from the workshop

pdf Meeting Summary


What’s Next?

The maps citizens create will be consolidated by researchers at the University at Buffalo Regional Institute into several alternative scenarios for the future. These scenarios and their forecasted impacts on our agriculture, transportation systems, economy and fiscal health will be presented at the next set of Community Congress meetings in the spring of 2014. Citizens will be allowed to reassess their approach and again voice their opinions on how they would like to see Buffalo Niagara move forward.

This community input will help shape a regional plan to advise how Buffalo Niagara and its local communities can grow sustainably over the next forty years. It will offer guidance for how to use land for economic growth, coordinate housing and transportation investments, prepare for climate change and make it easier and cost effective to grow food and distribute it locally. When the plan is complete, it will give Buffalo Niagara priority status for Federal dollars related to transportation infrastructure, housing and community development, cleaning our environment and promoting economic development.