Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.58
Liaison Derek Nichols
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University at Buffalo
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Ryan McPherson
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
One Region Forward

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

One Region Forward is Buffalo Niagara's planning and implementation platform for advancing collective action around long-term regional sustainability goals. The extensive effort integrated three years of research, community engagement, partnership building and planning by over 5,000 citizens and more than 700 local organizations. It launched an aggressive and broadly inclusive community engagement process that reached individuals from every ZIP Code in the two-county Buffalo Niagara region.

One Region Forward was launched and led by the UB School of Architecture and Planning and the UB Regional Institute (UBRI). These entities, as well as the University’s Chief Sustainability Officer, continue to serve in an ongoing capacity as key anchoring institutions and support teams for the 1RF implementation program. This includes delivering an annual Citizen Planning School (the new 2019 class has just formed) to “teach the plan” and offer implementation tools to citizen activists, nonprofit leaders, planning board members, local officials, and others; integrating technical assistance programs to support local municipalities and communities (http://www.oneregionforward.org/champs2019/); and co-chairing the 1RF Implementation Council which continue to meet on a quarterly basis to bring this plan to life throughout Western New York.

The engagement methods, research, coalition building, collaboration and sustainable thinking the university put forth were recognized by the American Planning Association which awarded it with the National Planning Achievement Award for Public Outreach.

Since its inception, the plans, policies and recommendations have provided a pathway towards a more sustainable and resilient WNY. Local municipalities have enacted findings from all of this work. Just one example of this is the formation of the Buffalo and Erie County Food Policy Council. This body meets regularly to guide policy makers on the best decisions to be made for food access.

As mentioned earlier, an on-going piece to One Region Forward is the Citizen Planning School Champions for Change program. Members of the Western New York community apply to receive mentorship and skills training that help them implement a program or idea. Examples of some of the projects have been implemented in the past three years are green infrastructure improvements to targeted neighborhoods, increasing the amount of food retail space in food deserts, waste reduction programs, and a net-zero renovation for the Niagara Falls community center.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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