Anthony Armstrong believes in the power of collaboration to make communities thrive.
Anthony brings a cross-section of community revitalization experience to this work, from organizational development to research, analysis and public policy, to facilitation, strategic planning and implementation as well as start-up and support of social ventures and collaborative efforts.
His approach is cross-sectoral and multi-dimensional, working with non-profit, philanthropic, academic and governmental clients focusing on strategies for cities, communities and networks.
Anthony has a rounded skill set at the intersections of public policy, organizational strategy and community voice. This takes many forms, including: neighborhood and equitable development strategies, strategic and regional planning, stakeholder engagement and inclusion, data and demographic analysis, quality of life and placemaking. He also provides racial equity training, analysis and coaching as an affiliate of Just Partners, Inc. and the Race Matters Institute.
Recent and current projects include:
– Project management of The Riverline for the Western New York Land Conservancy. The Riverline will be a multi-use trail and greenway on the elevated former rail line adjacent to downtown Buffalo and the Buffalo River through the Old First Ward, Perry and Valley neighborhoods. Project includes including oversight of community based vision planning, international design ideas competition, equitable development planning, outreach and engagement and partner programming, conceptual and schematic designs.
– Coordinating public outreach and engagement for the Buffalo Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative. The Buffalo ESPRI project is a New York State sponsored community collaborative of stakeholders aligned to reduce poverty in the City of Buffalo. Outreach was focused on communities and individuals experiencing financial hardship. The project included survey and additional input method design, collection and analysis, demographic and precedent research, and compilation and summary of community experience and opinions to inform Buffalo ESPRI implementation strategy development.
– Project management, stakeholder engagement and lead authorship of a regional racial equity data analysis and tracking indicators report with the University at Buffalo Regional Institute for the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, culminating in an upcoming community report to inform the ongoing work of the emergent Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable.
– Oversaw development of regional housing and neighborhood development strategies as well as a comprehensive examination of opportunity and racial, ethnic and geographic inequality in the region and a set of programmatic and policy recommendations known as a Fair Housing Equity Assessment for the University at Buffalo Regional Institute as part of One Region Forward, a HUD Sustainable Communities regional planning initiative for Buffalo Niagara.
– Developed a Vision Plan for Stella Niagara Preserve on behalf of the Western New York Land Conservancy, engaging staff, board members, project stakeholders and the public to provide a guiding document for the restoration, stewardship and management of the 29-acre preserve on the lower Niagara River.
– Oversaw organizational and programmatic development, staff hiring, partner relationship formation and collaborative work plan and contract development, and helped guide strategy formation and community impact efforts through the transition and start-up phase of Open Buffalo, a multi-million dollar initiative funded by Open Society Foundations to establish an institutional home for local policy and systems change leading to a more open, just and free city.
– State of the field research, data modeling and validation of resident mobility patterns and attraction efforts to guide efficacy analysis and program design for a national foundation in partnership with Detroit’s New Solutions Group.
– Facilitated strategic planning and/ or organizational development work for a host of regional non-profits, including Open Buffalo, Clean Air, Grassroots Gardens of WNY, and Friends of Reinstein Woods.
Prior to forming Make Communities, Anthony led public policy, community planning processes, collaboration initiatives and contributed non-profit technical assistance efforts for the Buffalo office of the nation’s largest community development intermediary with particular emphases on Buffalo’s west side and with vacant property reclamation systems and strategies.
Among various other community and governmental initiatives, Anthony has been heavily involved in organizational planning, development and formation of several high-profile local groups, particularly those involving multi-sector and community collaboratives, including the Buffalo-Erie-Niagara Land Improvement Corp (the local land bank), the Western New York Environmental Alliance as a board member and Urban Regeneration Chair, the Partnership for Public Good as Urban Policy Fellow, and Urban Roots Community Garden Center Cooperative (the nation’s first consumer-owned cooperative garden retailer) as founding Board Chair. He is a frequent Buffalo tour guide and presenter for to visiting researchers, foundations, public officials, students, media and conference attendees, and has been quoted on community development issues by media outlets such as the Buffalo News, Planning Magazine, Reuters, al Jazeera, StreetsBlog and USAToday.
Anthony holds a B.A. in Media Study from University at Buffalo Honors College, an M.S. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College and teaches a course in Neighborhood Revitalization at Buffalo State College.