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.



Better Choices for Buffalo's Students: Expanding & Reforming the Criteria Schools System


Buffalo Arts and Culture Organizations

Fact Sheets

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


Board of Block Clubs of Buffalo & Erie County
Buffalo Arts Commission
Buffalo Waterfront Corridor Initiative
Buffalo's Comprehensive Plan
Can Buffalo Ever Come Back?
City of Buffalo Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board
Commission on Citizens' Rights and Community Relations
Historic Preservation
Labor Force and Unemployment Data
Saving Buffalo's Untold Beauty
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System: Plan for the 21st Century
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
The Peace Bridge Chronicles
Urban Design Project

Policy Briefs

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


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


Municipal Water Management, Private Contracting, and Public Response: A Case Study of Water Privatization in Buffalo, New York


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


Ba Zan Lin Interview
Breaking Down Misconceptions About Poverty
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'