Mobile Tours
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Mobile Tours Are Scheduled for Friday Afternoon

Tickets are available for purchase during the conference registration process. Special Note: For all tours, please wear comfortable footwear and dress in layers. In most years, Buffalo averages a daily maximum temperature for October of 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The minimum temperature averages 43°F.

Register for the ACSP Annual Conference today!


Seeds of a New Economy

The story of Buffalo’s industrial decline is well-known. Still emerging is a story of economic resurgence. This tour will show where the seeds of a new economy are sprouting: UB’s School of Medicine at the heart of a growing “Eds and Meds” sector; a thriving innovation district; grassroots education, training, and entrepreneurship at The Foundry; a new workforce development center; a home-grown social enterprise computer manufacturer producing for the developing world; old factory buildings remade as urban office park; and a 1.2 million square foot solar panel factory.

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The Business of Grain: A Vertical Tour and Local Brewery & Distillery Visit

Grain – cereal, but also beer and whiskey – what else is there? Buffalo’s concrete silos have been described as “the most outstanding collection of extant grain elevators in the United States.” Explore their bleached bones, inside and out and vertically. The history, economy, architecture, and planning of Buffalo are inextricably linked to what poet Dominique Fourcade called an “American Chartres.” The transshipment of grain made the Port of Buffalo and its neighborhoods. Today, grain is still in business. Taste the whiskey, the beer, and smell the Cheerios.

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Harnessing Urban Planning for Racial & Social Justice: The Black Buffalo Tour

Buffalo has faced the challenge of racial and social injustice – historically and today. The metropolitan region epitomizes how development has been shaped by patterns of discrimination and segregation in housing. Local grassroots organizations are a source of sustained advocacy for change. This tour will weave together the stories of fair and affordable housing organizations, community-based service organizations, and grassroots advocates. We will visit projects, agencies, and people that illustrate Black Buffalo’s continuing fight for racial and social justice. By bus and on foot.

Travel Mode: Transit, Walking 


Preserving Buffalo’s Legacy: From Architectural Landmarks to Community Heritage

Across five decades of economic decline, Buffalonians organized an increasingly sophisticated and effective movement for preservation of the city’s built heritage. Today, the movement’s greatest achievements provide the basis for an economy based on architectural and heritage tourism. We will visit Sullivan’s path-breaking Guaranty Building; the Darwin Martin House, one of Wright’s greatest prairie homes; H.H. Richardson’s Buffalo State Hospital; Olmsted’s magnificent park and parkway system; the former St. Mary of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church, now a community center; and the Buffalo Religious Arts Center, the restored St. Francis Xavier Church housing a collection of artifacts saved from other closed churches in the area.

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The Cataract City: Struggling for Regeneration

Once an industrial powerhouse and a major tourist destination, Niagara Falls has suffered through decades of job loss, population decline, and environmental degradation. More recently government has taken a lead in a process of regeneration, in part powered by proceeds from the hydro-electricity generated there. This tour will provide a section view of work in progress: at Love Canal, a new brownfields redevelopment plan, reclaimed waterfront parkland once occupied by an elevated highway originally named for Robert Moses, Olmsted’s Niagara Reservation (the oldest state park in the US), and redevelopment efforts in the tourist core of the city.

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Buffalo Transportation Legacy & Current Innovation (By Bicycle)

This tour explores how transportation defined Buffalo’s historical development, including its position at the terminus of the Erie Canal and its status as the nation’s second largest rail center. We will also learn about current and upcoming projects to promote multi-modal transportation through “complete streets” and transportation demand management. Discussions with local transportation experts during the tour will focus on Buffalo’s position as a “legacy city” where transportation planning must occur within infrastructural constraints. Includes two twenty minute rides on Reddi Bikeshare suitable for novice cyclists. In case of bad weather, we’ll go by bus. 

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Resurgence in the Rustbelt: Competing Neighborhood Narratives

The West Side is Buffalo’s most diverse neighborhood with significant populations of Latinx, Black, Asian, and white residents, and many immigrants and refugees. Many face severe challenges of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, and access to affordable housing. Grassroots coalitions and private entrepreneurs pursue often conflicting strategies to improve conditions. Community gardens, not-for-profit housing, an incubator for immigrant food vendors, and green energy development move forward even as cafes, craft breweries, up-scale condos, and fine dining restaurants pop up. Resurgence comes at a price for some: rising housing costs, displacement, and widening inequality. This tour – by bicycle, weather permitting – will introduce visitors to many of the participants and their projects.

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The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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