Buffalo Commons


The knowledge, ideas, and tools collected here can make our community a better place to live, and they belong to all of us. We hope they help you achieve great things.



Healthy Eating and Active Living: For Children in the City of Buffalo


Buffalo Arts and Culture Organizations

Fact Sheets

Life on a Nickel's Edge: Struggle and Dignity in Buffalo's Fruit Belt
The Story of the Puerto Rican-Chicano Committee (PRCC)
Fruit Belt Neighborhood Asset Inventory
Credit Unions and Banks Near Downtown Buffalo
Bangladeshi Immigrants in Buffalo
Immigrants, Refugees, and Languages Spoken in Buffalo
Eritrean Refugees in Buffalo
From Central Africa to Buffalo: Refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, and Burundi
Nepali Bhutanese Refugees in Buffalo
Refugees from Iraq in Buffalo
Refugees from Somalia in Buffalo
Refugees from Sudan in Buffalo
Yemeni Immigrants in Western New York
Afghan Refugees in Buffalo
Burman, Karen, and Chin Refugees: From Burma to Buffalo
Best Practices in Language Access and Cultural Competency
From Puerto Rico to Buffalo
Vacant and Abandoned Housing in Buffalo
Employment Data for Buffalo
Public Education in Buffalo and the Region
Language Access
Gang Prevention in Buffalo, NY and National Best Practices
Poverty in Buffalo-Niagara
Housing Segregation, Inequality, and Poverty in Buffalo-Niagara
The Great Recession in Buffalo-Niagara
Health Data for Buffalo and Erie County
Composting Food and Yard Waste: A Guide for Individuals, Non-Profits, and the City of Buffalo
Population Trends in Buffalo-Niagara
How to Recycle Special Items in Buffalo-Niagara
Buffalo's Assets
Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program: Job Training Program for Disadvantaged Workers
Erie County Work Experience Program Partnerships with Non-Profits Offer Work Experience to Temporary Assistance to Needy Family Recipients
Buffalo's Community Health Centers: Healthcare for People with Low Incomes
Creating Assets, Savings & Hope Buffalo
Habitat for Humanity Buffalo
Massachusetts Avenue Project: Urban Farming and Job Skills for Youth
Project Dandelion
The Buffalo Living Wage Ordinance
The Matt Urban HOPE Center and the Housing First Model
Geographies of Poverty: Buffalo-Niagara Metropolitan Area
The Geography of Poverty: City of Buffalo
Benefit Corporation Legislation in New York: What's the Benefit
Front Park's Past and Future
Monitoring Pollution in our Communities: The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York
Vacant Lot Greening Options in Buffalo
Buffalo, Amherst, and Erie County: Worlds Apart
Education Data for Buffalo
Poverty and Casino Gambling in Buffalo
Buffalo Public Schools Reconstruction
Urban Farming in Buffalo: Economic Development and Climate Change Strategy
Environmental Data for Buffalo
The Buffalo Urban Development Corporation
Unionization of Low Wage Workers
An Educational Gift: Teacher Aides in New York State
Dishwashers: Workers in a Low-Wage Occupation
Landscapers and Grounds Keepers
The Job of a UB Janitor
Working as an EMT
Exploring Low Wage Work in the Farming Industry
Food Service Workers in Buffalo Public Schools
Food Service Workers in Restaurants: Short Order Cooks, First-Line Supervisors, and Managers
Home Health Aides
Retail Sales: Selling to make a Living
Sanitation Workers in the City of Buffalo
School Bus Monitors in Western New York
Working as a Security Guard in Western New York
Working as a Receptionist
Erie County Sales Tax
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Board
Buffalo City Comptroller
Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority
Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority
Buffalo Sewer Authority
Buffalo Water Authority
City of Buffalo Common Council
Erie County Comptroller
Erie County Industrial Development Agency
Erie County Legislature
Erie County Sewer Division and Sewer Districts
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA)
Office of the Erie County Executive
The Mayor of Buffalo
County Planning Boards
Erie County Property Taxes
Limited English Proficiency Access in Buffalo and Erie County
Municipal Unions
New York State Campaign Finance Laws
Sustainability Offices for Local Governments
The Erie County Holding Center and Correctional Facility
Erie County's Budget
Public School Discipline: Alternatives to Suspension
The City of Buffalo Budget Fiscal Year 2008-2009
City of Buffalo Property Tax
Racial Disparities in Buffalo
Childcare Workers
Buffalo Board of Parking
Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation
Artspace Buffalo: Buffalo Artists Residence & Gallery
Buffalo Arts and Culture
IDA Consolidation
Immigrants and Refugees in Buffalo
Informal Economies
Community Benefits Agreements
Economic Inequality in New York State
Alternative Tax Strategies for Local Governments
Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau
Community Development Block Grants and Buffalo
The Broadway Market Management Corporation
The Buffalo Central Terminal and Economic Development
The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency
Predatory Business Practices: Automobile Financing
Early Childhood Education in Buffalo, New York
Brownfield Cleanup and Development in Buffalo, New York
Catholic Church Closings
Richardson Center Corporation
Historic Preservation
Professional Sports Subsidies
NYSERDA: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
The New York Power Authority
Erie County Office of Economic Development
Easy Ways to Lower your Utility Bills
Buffalo's Tourism
Environmental Health and Racial Disparities in Buffalo
Is English Your Second Language?
Localization in Buffalo
Typical Elements in Limited English Proficiency Plans


Saving Buffalo's Untold Beauty
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System: Plan for the 21st Century
Can Buffalo Ever Come Back?
The Path Not Taken: How New York State has Increased the Tax Burden on the Middle Class and Cut Taxes for its Highest Income Taxpayers by over $8 Billion a Year
Board of Block Clubs of Buffalo & Erie County
Buffalo Arts Commission
Buffalo Waterfront Corridor Initiative
Buffalo's Comprehensive Plan
City of Buffalo Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board
Commission on Citizens' Rights and Community Relations
Historic Preservation
Labor Force and Unemployment Data
The Peace Bridge Chronicles
Urban Design Project

Policy Briefs

Health Equity: The Path to Inclusive Prosperity in Buffalo
Why Buffalo Needs Inclusionary Zoning; Affordability, Workforce Development, Inclusion, and Quality Housing
Lead Poisoning: Triggers and Thresholds
The Public Service Commission Should Deny National Fuel's Request for a Rate Hike
A Plan that Bears Fruit: A Community Land Trust and Other Tools For Neighborhood Revitalization in the Fruit Belt
A Planning Board for Erie County
A Community Benefit Agreement for the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
Redesigning the Scajaquada Expressway
Buffalo Niagara - How Are We Really Doing
The Potential Impact of Legalizing, Regulating, and Taxing Marijuana on Erie County and New York State
A Raise for Fast Food Workers Will Help Western New York
Poverty, Race, and Community Policing in Buffalo
High Road Economic Development: Best Practices
The High Road Economy: Principles and Practices
Why New York State Still Needs Single Payer Health Care
Town IDAs in Erie County: 2011-2013
A True Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers
Raising the Minimum Wage: Key Facts and Figures
Buffalo School Board Governance
English Language Learners and Standardized Tests
Erie County as a Metro-Wide School District
Should Buffalo Move Back to Neighborhood Public Schools?
Teacher Residency Requirements in Buffalo: Reconciling Community Benefits with Marketplace Realities
The Downside of Standardized Testing
Title I Funds in Buffalo Public Schools: Educating Children in Poverty
Casino Gambling will Create More Costs Than Benefits in New York State
Community Health Workers: A Holistic Solution for Individual and Community Health
Concentrated Poverty and Public Education
Reshaping Buffalo's Recycling Initiatives
Buffalo's Sprawl: Fiscal, Environmental, and Social Costs
State Funding for the NFTA Reduces Pollution, Fights Poverty, and Promotes Economic Development
Best Practices in Mental Health at Corrections Facilities
Reforming Buffalo's Tax Foreclosure Process
Refugees, Food Insecurity, and Community Gardens
Greening Buffalo's Vacant Lots
The Triple Bottom Line in Buffalo: Standards for Economic, Social, and Ecological Success
A Green Building Ordinance for Buffalo
Looking for Trickledown Under the Peace Bridge: A Critique of the Public Bridge Authority's Economic Impact Claims
How City Hall Can Foster the Urban Farming Revolution in Buffalo
What Climate Change Means for Buffalo
Responding to New York's Budget Crisis
Green Municipal Building Ordinances
Unemployment and Poverty in Western New York
Who is Living in Poverty and Why?
Drug Testing by Potential Employers
Local and Minority Hiring Practices
Transportation and Low Wage Work
Children First! Child Care Assistance in Erie County
Strengthening Unemployment Insurance
The Problem of Worker Misclassification
Criminal Convictions and Employment Rights in New York State
Education Levels and Low-Wage Work
How to Improve Erie County's Work First Program
Overtime Violations
TANF and Higher Education
Paid Sick Leave: Should Investing in the Workforce be Mandatory?
Canal Side: How Will the Community Benefit?
Playing an Insecure Hand
Violent Crime in the City of Good Neighbors
Poverty: A State of Extremes


Buffalo City School District McKinney-Vento Program
Preparing Teachers for Poverty's Challenges
Refugees: Challenges, Opportunities, and Resources


The PUSH Green Development Zone: Building Housing Equity from the Ground Up
Municipal Water Management, Private Contracting, and Public Response: A Case Study of Water Privatization in Buffalo, New York


Bringing the Good Food Purchasing Program to Buffalo, New York: Challenges and Lessons Learned
Bringing the Good Food Purchasing Program to Buffalo: An Investigation of Potential Environmental Stakeholder Participation
Working Toward Equality, Updated: Race, Employment, and Public Transportation in Erie County
PUSH Buffalo's Green Development Zone: a Model for New Economy Community Development
2016 Annual Report on the State of Homelessness in Western New York
Advancing Health Equity andd Inclusive Growth in Buffalo
Collaboration, Communication and Community-Building
Inclusionary Zoning
West Side Study
Utilization of Language Services for Clients with Limited English Proficiency Protocols
Energy Poverty in Buffalo's West Side: PUSH, National Fuel, and the Fight for Equitable Energy Access
Buffalo Niagara at the Crossroads: How State Energy Policies can Lead Western New York to a Green, Prosperous, and Just Future
Buffalo's Proposed Unified Development Ordinance
Working Toward Equality
Greening the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
Traffic Equity in Buffalo, New York
Better Choices for Buffalo's Students: Expanding & Reforming the Criteria Schools System
Getting There: Improving Attendance in the Buffalo Public Schools
Annual Report on the State of Homelessness in Western New York
Social Justice and the Arts
Temp Work and Poverty in Buffalo
Talking Proud: Telling Buffalo's Stories
Buffalo Poverty Research Workshop
On the Edge: The Impact of Changing Demographics on an Inner-Ring Suburban School District
"Locked in Buffalo's Socioeconomic Basement": An examination of Political and Institutional Racial Discrimination and its Effects on the local African American Community
Annual Report on the State of Homelessness in Erie-Niagara Metropolitan Area
Serving Limited English Proficient Clients
Poverty Matters: The Correlation of Poverty to Test Outcomes in Buffalo, Amherst, and Cheektowaga Schools
Alarming Disparities: The Disproportionate Number of African American and Hispanic People in Erie County Criminal Justice System
Rebuilding our Neighborhoods: Improving New York State Housing Policy to Better Meet Upstate Needs
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus: A High Road Strategy to Maximize the Community's Benefit
A Public Statement of Principles for High Road Development of Buffalo's Waterfront
Impact of Poverty
How the Seneca Gaming Corporation has Violated its Contract and Broken its Promises to the City of Buffalo
2013 Annual Report on the State of Homelessness in Erie County
Recycling: an Easy Way to Save Money, Create Jobs, and Help the Environment
Recycling by Businesses Creates Jobs, Saves Energy, Reduces Pollution, and…it’s the law!
Recycling by Multi-Family Residences Creates Jobs, Saves Energy, Reduces Pollution, and…it's the law!
2012 Annual Report on the State of Homelessness in Erie County
HUD Report on Buffalo Community Development Block Grant Program
Buffalo's Community Bicycle Workshop
PUSH Buffalo's Net Zero House at 10 Winter St.
Reducing Disposable Bag Use
Generating Waste: Problems with NYPA and the IDAs and How to Solve Them
Cooling Global Warming Through Transit
Policies to Encourage Biking and Walking in Buffalo
2010 Buffalo and Erie County Annual Report on Homelessness: A Community Profile
2011 Annual Report on the State of Homelessness in Erie County
How Local Public Administrators, Nonprofit Providers, and Elected Officials Perceive Impediments to Fair Housing In the Suburbs: An Analysis of Erie County, New York
Increasing Use of Public Transit
Food Environment, Built Environment, and Women's BMI: Evidence from Erie County, New York
Comparing the Economic Competitive Advantages of Indian Run Casinos Located on Sovereign Lands in Western New York Over Other Hospitality Operations
Pathways to Progress
Buffalo's In Rem Foreclosure Auction
Registration and the Re-Empowerment of the Buffalo Housing Court
The Black Rock Vacancy Initiative: An Analysis of Results and Obstacles
A User's Guide to Bringing a Private Nuisance Action
Are YOU Registered? An Analysis of Buffalo's Rental Registry Code
Collection of Housing Judgments: Buffalo's Practice Compared to Other Municipalities
City of Buffalo 2009-2010 Action Plan
Empire State's Cultural Capital at Risk?
Freedom of Information: Federal and New York State Laws
Buffalo Poverty Reduction Blueprint
Open Meetings Law
The Erie Canal Harbor Development: Building on Community Assets for a Sustainable Future
IDA Reform
Missing the Target
The Difference a University Makes: An Updated Impact Analysis of the University at Buffalo
Buffalo's Demolition Strategy
Poverty Level Work in Western New York
Subprime Lending: the Rotten Core of the Current Economic Crisis
Greening Buffalo: What Local Governments Can Do
HUD Homes: How they Can Promote Home Ownership and Reduce House Abandonment
Internet Access: An Easy Solution for a Tough Problem
Preventing Deterioration and Abandonment of Rental Properties in Buffalo
Marketing City-Owned Properties
City of Buffalo Contracting Process: Demolition Contracts
Healing our Houses will Cure Lead Poisoning Epidemic
The Third Party Transfer Program: A Tool Buffalo Can Use to Reduce Property Abandonment
Existing and Potential Remedies for Illegal Flipping in Buffalo, New York
Preventing Tax Foreclosures in the City of Buffalo
Comptroller's Review of the Costs of Real Property Tax Assessment in Erie County
The Control Boards: Time for an Objective Review and Real Reforms
City of Buffalo 2008-2009 Budgets and Four Year Plans
Greening the Richardson Complex
Position Statement on Route Five and the Peace Bridge
Regionalism Revisited: The Effort to Streamline Governance in Buffalo and Erie County, New York
Beyond Food Deserts: Measuring and Mapping Racial Disparities in Neighborhood Food Environments
The Geography of Urban Poverty
Local Taxes in New York State: Easing the Burden
A Proposal to Create the Buffalo Green Land Bank
Green Infrastructure Can Combat Combined Sewer Overflows
Is a Green Building an Energy Efficient Building?
Methane and Cogeneration Technology: Renewable Energy Opportunities for Erie County Wastewater Treatment Plants
Local Advantage in a Global Era: Making Local Procurement Work for New York
Weatherization: A Step Towards Green Cities
Alternatives to Incarceration
Revitalizing Buffalo: Let's Take the High Road
Affordable Housing and the Environment in Buffalo, New York
Sprawling by the Lake: How IDA-Granted Property Tax Exemptions Undermine Older Parts of the Buffalo/Niagara Metro Area
Buffalo Habitat for Humanity: The Challenges and Prospects of Green Building
PUSH Buffalo's Community Housing Co-operative: A Case Study in Green Building Rehabilitation
Weatherization Assistance and Low-Income Households
Niagara River Greenway Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (Part I)
Niagara River Greenway Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (Part II)
Niagara River Greenway Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (Part III)
Achieving a Greater Buffalo
Home Energy Conservation: Affordable Housing and the Environment
The Potential of Deconstruction in Buffalo, New York
A Growing City: Hydroponic Farming in Buffalo
Arts & Economic Prosperity III
Don't Pay for your Neighbors' Garbage
Integrating Deconstruction and Recycling Into the Demolition Process in Buffalo, NY
Residential Deconstruction in Buffalo: A Viable Alternative to Demolition
Sustainable Roofs for Buffalo Schools
Sustaining Arts and Culture in Buffalo Niagara
Proposed Agreement with Seneca Erie Gaming Corporation, Seneca Gaming Corporation and Seneca Nation
At Taxpayers' Expense
Framework for Regional Growth
Left Behind: How Difficulties with Transportation are a Roadblock to Self-Sufficiency
Buffalo Child Care Means Business: Full Study Report
The Persistence of Segregation in Buffalo, New York
Housing Service Agency Structural Definition Report
A Cultural Tourism Strategy: Enriching Culture and Building Tourism in Buffalo Niagara
Losing Ground: Income and Poverty in Upstate New York, 1980-2000
Solutions for a Better Quality of Life: A Guide to Solving Neighborhood Issues
Transition and Renewal: The Emergence of a Diverse Upstate Economy
Vacant Land, Buildings and Facilities Asset Management Project
The Buffalo Financial Control Board
Sprawl Without Growth: The Upstate Paradox
Small Business: Big Challenge
Champions @ Work: Employment, Workplace Practices and Labor-Management Relations in Western New York: A Study
Integrity and Ethical Standards in New York State Government: Final Report to the Governor
13 Numbers That Build the Case for Why the Casino is Bad for the City of Buffalo
An Integrated Approach to Fighting Blight and Poverty in Buffalo's Low-Income Neighborhoods
Blueprint Buffalo
Buffalo Housing Court Act
Building the Blue Economy
Bypassing the Bust: The Stability of Upstate New York's Housing Markets During the Recession
Casino Briefing
City of Buffalo Living Wage Ordinance
City of Buffalo vs. ABN Amro Mortgage
Community Reinvestment Act Advocacy
Fundamental Shifts Have Altered the Role of Local Governments
Homelessness among Young Adults in Buffalo: A Research Report Highlighting Youth Voices
Individuals Below the Poverty Level
Labor Unions and Coalitions in Buffalo
Overview of Municipal Vacant Building Registries
Poverty and Buffalo: Beyond the Headlines
Profile of Buffalo and its Region
Starting a School Recycling Program
Taxes in New York State: Restoring Fairness and Equity to the Personal Income Tax to Reverse Decades of Reliance on the Property Tax- Short and Long Term Solutions
Workforce Training Programs


Buffalo Transit Riders United: Community Agenda Plank Video
Create a Signature Park on the Outer Harbor: Community Agenda Plank Video
Lead Safety: Community Agenda Plank Video
Transitioning off Public Assistance: Community Agenda Plank Video
FB Community Land Trust Fundraiser
John Marsland Interview: Dennice Barr Pt1
John Marsland Interview: Dennice Barr Pt2
John Marsland Interview: Nathaniel Cole
John Marsland Interview: Zaid Islam
Breaking Down Misconceptions About Poverty
Ba Zan Lin Interview
Gamileh Jamil Interview
Lisa Strand Interview
Megan Rumph Perry Interview
On the Edge: The Impact of Changing Demographics on an Inner-Ring Suburban School District
Prisons of Poverty
Working for 'Extras,' Working for 'Nothing'