Urban Regeneration

Published on October 2nd, 2014 | by GrowWNY Intern


A Multimedia Event Celebrating Citizen Ideas for Action


Join One Region Forward as it celebrates the results of the first year of the Citizen Planning School

Please join One Region Forward and the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning as it celebrates the inaugural year of its Citizen Planning School through a multimedia event called the “Idea Summit.”

Launched in the spring of 2014, the One Region Forward Citizen Planning School is an innovative citizen-based academy designed to empower residents of Erie and Niagara counties to become catalysts for change in their local communities. The program includes a series of learning sessions hosted by the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and an accompanying service learning program called “Champions for Change” through which a select group of citizens receive training and technical assistance to advance specific community-level projects. These projects will contribute to the quality of life of our communities and the overall sustainability of Buffalo Niagara.

The Idea Summit will be a fun, celebratory event that will feature the work of the first class of Citizen Planners and Champions for Change, explore what it means to translate ideas to action, and provide opportunities for community members to network with local experts, the citizen planners, funders and other attendees to generate more ideas for action.

The event will be held on Saturday, October 4th, from 10 AM to 12 noon at the historic North Park Theatre on 1428 Hertel Avenue in Buffalo, NY 14216. Features include:

  • Keynote address from Megan McNally, founder of Rusted Grain Woodworker’s Collaborative and Co-Founder of The Foundry about how one person can have an idea, bring it into action and make a difference in the community.
  • Multimedia forum of videos and presentations on the individual champions and their Ideas for Change.
  • Panel of community leaders who will offer insight and suggestions on turning ideas into action. Panelists include Franchelle Hart of Open Buffalo, Cara Matteliano of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Mike Clarke of LISC Buffalo, and others yet to confirm.
  • Ideas Expo and networking session where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the Citizen Planners, Champions, and guest panelists to learn more about their projects and explore forging partnerships.
  • Announcement of Year Two of the Citizen Planning School to be offered in the spring of 2015 and supported by a graduate-level course at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. Attendees will learn how to register for the school and apply to be considered for the “Champion for Change” track.

The Citizen Planning School is an integral part of One Region Forward’s regional planning and implementation process that values fostering community projects as a means to becoming a more sustainable region overall. Thousands of citizens from across Erie and Niagara counties have been engaged as part of the One Region Forward effort and those conversations have shown how knowledgeable and engaged residents are. The Citizen Planning School seeks to build on that strong base and offer additional information, resources and tools to residents to help them become local agents for change and ultimately implement the emerging vision of One Region Forward. This program is based off the belief that even the smallest change can help move the region towards a more sustainable future.

Free and open to the public, citizens are encouraged to visit www.oneregionforward.org to register for the event and learn more about One Region Forward. You can also see a video about the Idea Summit and a slideshow about some of our Champions for Change by visiting www.oneregionforward.org/sustainability-101/ideasummit/.

About One Region Forward:

One Region Forward is funded by a $2 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an interagency collaboration also involving the federal Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The effort is guided by a partnership of over twenty nonprofit, business, academic, and government organizations who serve on the effort’s steering committee. They include: the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, the Western New York office of Empire State Development, the New York State Department of Transportation, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Erie County, Niagara County, the City of Buffalo, the City of Niagara Falls, the Association of Erie County Governments, and the Niagara County Supervisors Association.

Other members of the steering committee include the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, Buffalo Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Western New York Environmental Alliance, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Belmont Housing Resources, Niagara County Department of Social Services, the John R. Oishei Foundation, Niagara Falls Municipal Housing Authority, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the Daemen College Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, VOICE Buffalo, and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc.

The steering committee is supported by more than 100 subject matter experts from across Erie and Niagara counties working in teams to develop strategies around topics of land use and development, housing and neighborhoods, transportation and mobility, climate change action, and food access and justice. A draft plan of work produced over the three-year planning process will be released in mid-October, 2014.

Learn more about One Region Forward by visiting www.oneregionforward.org.

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