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Planning: Urban & Regional Planning Guide

Last Updated: Apr 30, 2024 12:31 PM

Buffalo/University at Buffalo

Buffalo Green Code:  The Buffalo Green Code is an opportunity for Buffalonians to establish a new regulatory framework for the development of our neighborhoods.

BuffaloLISC:  LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities initiative is helping to reinvigorate targeted Buffalo neighborhoods through its emphasis on concentrated and comprehensive community development strategies. LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities initiative is helping to reinvigorate targeted Buffalo neighborhoods through its emphasis on concentrated and comprehensive community development strategies.

City of Buffalo Strategic Planning Group: The planning area team focuses on the divisions’ comprehensive planning and community planning work program. The staff serves on interdisciplinary planning teams and works with Good Neighbors’ Planning Alliance to prepare master plans, design guidelines, and implementation strategies at many geographic scales.

The Cyberhood: The Cyberhood is sponsored by the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) and the Center for Urban Studies at the University at Buffalo. The Cyberhood is based on the belief that many students, scholars, practitioners and activists of color are isolated from one another and from progressive whites, who are also concerned about the plight of communities of color, conditions in the inner city, and the problems of low-wage white workers. The goal is to make the Cyberhood a place where students, scholars, practitioners, and activists from across the racial and class divide can learn from one another and build meaningful relationships. The building of such connections, we believe, will strengthen the struggle to understand and transform inner cities and the metropolitan regions of which they are embedded.

Erie County, NY Online Mapping System: Users are able to mark up maps with symbols and text, save locations on the map as “bookmarks”, save mapping sessions and return to a session at a later time, search for properties and link to the property tax records for selected parcels, and create drive–time rings. There is a wide variety of information that can be mapped with the On– Map program, including property parcels; streets; environmental factors such as wetlands, floodplains, soils, and slopes; legislative and school districts; and aerial photography. The program also includes capabilities for saving map images and high quality printing of maps as PDF documents.

The Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab:  (‘the Food Lab’), a research group led by Dr. Samina Raja, housed in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo (UB) is dedicated to research that critically examines the role of planning and local government policy in facilitating sustainable food systems and healthy communities. The Food Lab’s research unfolds in collaboration with other research groups within and outside UB, as well as in partnership with community and planning organizations and local governments in the United States and globally. Drawing on its research, the Food Lab team provides technical assistance to community advocates, planners, and local governments on the use of policy and planning to create equitable food systems and healthy communities.

Growing Food Connections: The overarching goal of this partnership is to enhance community food security while ensuring sustainable and economically viable agriculture and food production. This requires building the capacity of local governments to remove public policy barriers and deploy innovative public policy tools.

NYS GIS Clearinghouse: The Clearinghouse, operated by the New York State Office of Cyber Security, disseminates information about New York’s Statewide GIS Coordination Program and to provide access to the New York State GIS Data and Metadata Repository. The Clearinghouse also provides information on and links to GIS education and training opportunities; other state and Federal GIS resources, including downloadable data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the USGS; GIS user groups throughout New York; and GIS-related listservs.

One Region Forward: a broad-based, collaborative effort to promote more sustainable forms of development in Erie and Niagara counties – the Buffalo Niagara Region – in land use, transportation, housing, energy and climate, access to food, and more. It combines research and public engagement with planning and action to help us meet the combined economic, environmental, and social challenges of the 21st century.

UB Regional Institute: The UB Regional Institute and Urban Design Project have officially merged under the UB Regional Institute name. Our long established history in the region and track record of success in public policy and urban planning/design, our professional staff, affiliated faculty and graduate students, our position as the research enterprise of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and our strong connection to the University at large, are our greatest assets. This is what sets us apart from other organizations.


Community Development:

Comm-org: The Online Conference on Community Organizing: The Online Conference on Community Organizing, help connect people who care about the craft of community organizing. The conference also provides the ability find and provides information for organizers, scholars, and scholar-organizers to learn, teach, and do community organizing at no cost.

Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society: Journal of the Community Development Society is devoted to improving knowledge and practice in the field of purposive community change. The mission of the journal is to disseminate information on theory, research and practice. The journal welcomes manuscripts that report research; evaluate theory, techniques, and methods; examine community problems; or critically analyze the profession itself.

Community Development Society:  The Community Development Society provides leadership to professionals and citizens across the spectrum of community development. Members have multiple opportunities to learn what’s new in the profession, to exchange ideas, to obtain the most current research and reference information available and to share professional expertise. The Community Development Society annual conference, publications, and listservs offer: Professional development; Networks; Information on initiatives and job opportunities; Recognition for outstanding contributions and achievements; Opportunities for discussion and debate.

Planning Resources:

NTL Digital Repository: Providing access to transportation-related research, reports, data, and reference services.

Planetizen Top Ten Planning Websites:  A list of Planetizen’s recognized top ten websites (and a few runners-up) as some of the best resources for urban planning, design and development. This list is based on nominations by Planetizen readers and staff, and judged against a common set of criteria, including content, design, and usability. Planetizen lists the websites alphabetically, not in a particular order of rank.

Planners Network:  Planners Network (PN) connects progressive planners in the following ways: An e-newsletter, with member updates, job listings, event announcements, and other resources. The quarterly magazine Progressive Planning is full of provocative ideas, reports, and analysis. This resource-rich website includes; conferences, driven by community-led tours and participatory workshops, local chapters, which organize events and discussions around hot local issues. 

United States Statistics:

United States Census Bureau and American FactFinder:  The Census Bureau conducts nearly one hundred surveys and censuses every year; including data from the: Decennial Census, American Community Survey, Puerto Rico Community Survey, Economic Census, Population Estimates Program,also data including the Annual Survey of Manufactures, County Business Patterns, Non-employer Statistics and many more.

United States Data and Statistics: Data and Statistics information from the United States Government on topics including: General Government; Business and Economics; Defense and International Relations; Environment, Energy, and Agriculture; Family, Home, and Community; Geospatial Data; Health and Nutrition; Jobs and Education; Public Safety and Law; Science and Technology; Travel, Transportation, and Recreation

Census Industry Statistics Portal: Data and Statistics information from the United States Government on business topics including: Banking Statistics; Business Data and Statistics; Earnings Data and Labor Statistics; Economic Analysis; Regional Information; Statistics Portals; Trade Statistics Tools; U.S. Businesses.


The National Transportation Library (NTL) is a repository of U.S. DOT transportation information, serves as a portal transportation data, and provides library services to U.S. DOT employees. NTL’s mission is to maintain and facilitate access to statistical and other information needed for transportation decision-making at the Federal, State, and local levels and to coordinate with public and private transportation libraries and information providers to improve information sharing among the transportation community.

The Surface Transportation Policy Partnership (STPP) is a national collaborative working to ensure safer communities and smarter transportation choices that enhance the economy, improve public health, promote social equity, and protect the environment. STPP monitors trends, emerging issues, needs, and new policy proposals related to the planning and implementation of transportation in the United States. Of particular interest are issues related to safety, the environment, sound asset management, planning, and public policy.

Non-Profit Organizations:

Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA): The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is a neutral, open forum committed to strengthening the research community in the emerging field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies. ARNOVA brings together both theoretical and applied interests, helping scholars gain insight into the day-to-day concerns of third-sector organizations, while providing nonprofit professionals with research they can use to improve the quality of life for citizens and communities. Principal activities include an annual conference, publications, electronic discussions and special interest groups