Scenarios tell a story of how our region may change over time based on where Buffalo Niagara is today and the choices we might make about how we use our land and how we invest our resources.
What if you could change our approach to land use, development, housing and transportation? Then what would our future hold? This past winter, citizens across Buffalo Niagara had an opportunity to do just that.
At Community Congress Workshops in November 2013 and Workshops On The Road held this winter, citizens young and old, rural and urban, from many walks of life got a chance to map out what they want to see protected, maintained and changed in Erie and Niagara counties over the next 40 years.
These workshops asked citizens to decide a future approach to land use, development, housing and transportation for our region - where to make investments and what strategies to pursue to get us closer to our shared Regional Vision and Values.
Take a look at the 115 maps citizens created
What the Community Said and How it Compares to the Path We’re On
Citizens across Buffalo Niagara have expressed a new vision for change in Buffalo Niagara, one that is strikingly different from the trends of the past.
In the Mapping Workshops, citizens focused 87% of new homes within areas of the region that are already developed. But based on the trends of the past, we would likely build only 36% of our new homes on lands that are already developed. This starts to reveal the clear difference between the future region we could create based on the vision of citizens and the future we could be headed toward based on the trends of the past.
> Read more about what Our Current Path could mean for the types of homes and communities we would create over the next forty years if our region were to grow and the development patterns of the past were to continue.
What if we continued to build homes in the same types of places we have in the past? What types of communities would we create and where? And how would this new development affect our existing communities?
How Community Input Will Guide the Work Ahead
The maps citizens have created are being analyzed and synthesized to discover common trends that will be used to form three different alternative scenarios for the future of Buffalo Niagara . These scenarios will be used to project outcomes, and then be put to the test by estimating what each alternative would mean for our economy, our environment, and our communities. Will the cost to maintain infrastructure grow? Will we have more ability to grow local food to sustain people here? How do these outcomes differ from each other and from what we can expect if we keep doing things the same as we have in the past?
In June, the Community Congress will reconvene to view these three different alternative scenarios along with a “Business-as-usual” scenario. At these meetings citizens will find out what each could mean for the region’s fiscal health, housing stock, agriculture productivity, transportation systems and more.
After delving into what life in Buffalo Niagara could be like in 2050 under each of these scenarios, you will be asked to refine your vision for the future of Buffalo Niagara one final time. This feedback will be used to establish a shared vision for the future of Buffalo Niagara – a new way to move One Region Forward.