Housing/Neighborhoods, Economic Development
This policy report argues that improving the quality of life for residents of all backgrounds living in Buffalo’s urban neighborhoods should be a central objective of any economic revitalization plan for the region. In the process of strengthening housing and employment opportunities in the urban core, Buffalo should strive to become a premiere destination for innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs seeking a low-cost, culturally vibrant place in which to live and work. The priorities outlined below are drawn from successful revitalization strategies employed by cities such as Minneapolis, MN, Portland, OR and Toronto, ON. These and other regions have been revitalized not by constructing commercial waterfront attractions, or by envisioning Disney-esque developments to attract tourists, or even by heavily subsidizing corporations to site temporary operations in their respective regions, but by concerted and coordinated efforts to stabilize neighborhoods, improve schools, strengthen immigrant communities, cultivate and protect natural resources, address the crisis of inner-city unemployment, elevate the arts, support small business development, create integrated transportation networks, and break down barriers separating wealthy suburban populations from poor urban communities.