Despite a recent surge in development in the downtown core, the city of Buffalo and the region have experienced a long trend of overall population loss, yet this has not been uniform throughout the region. In fact, many municipalities have experienced dramatic population growth while others have contracted measurably in the last 25 years.
But even these trends are shifting, with those communities experiencing the most growth from 1990-2000 slowing markedly from 2000-2010. Ten years of redevelopment in Buffalo’s downtown core has increased property values and built additional demand in certain central city neighborhoods. However, other neighborhoods continue to decline and suffer abandonment.
In a region where neighborhoods are facing such different trajectories, the One Region Forward Housing and Neighborhoods working group put together baseline goals for the region’s approach to building healthy and complete communities:
• Housing Choice and Accessibility.
• Vibrant and Connected Communities.
• Respect for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
Building on these goals, the working group fleshed out strategies and best practices — some of them local, some of them national — to help guide these on the ground efforts. Some of these are centralized support activities and others are envisioned as providing specific tools to communities. Though this lens there is a great amount of respect for local knowledge on how to actually hone these tenets into actions driven by the people who live in each neighborhood.
In broad strokes, these strategies include:
• Providing Data and Analytical Resources for Informed Decision Making.
• Anticipating, Accommodating and Embracing Demographic Shifts.
• Pursuing Neighborhood-Specific Asset-Based Strategies for Redevelopment.
• Improving the Housing Support Delivery System.
This blog will continue to delve deeper in to each of these goals and strategies going forward, but as always, the full strategy document can be downloaded here.