About Our Local Host
University at Buffalo's two-year MUP is built on a foundation of planning concepts, research methods, and applied learning through studios, culminating in a professional project or thesis. Six specializations provide options for in-depth, focused study of emergent fields:
Community Health & Food Systems
Explore the links between planning and public health to strengthen local and regional food systems and create healthier, more equitable communities. Cultivate your methodological skills in planning as you prepare plans for community clients in local and global settings.
Economic Development Planning
Work with cities and communities to increase employment opportunities, relieve poverty, build international economic competitiveness, promote human development, and facilitate sustainable growth. Study these issues alongside our diverse network of government, industry and community partners. Study under our renowned research centers, including the Center for Urban Studies, Community for Global Health Equity, Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, and the UB Regional Institute.
Environmental & Land Use Planning
Apply the planning process to the sustainable development of cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Develop solutions that restore natural systems; minimize the negative effects of human settlements on ecosystems; and mitigate the impact of environmental problems on human health and urban and regional systems.
Engage the material fabric of our cultural past as you explore urban and architectural histories, the craft and technical methods of preservation, and the development of supportive policy and planning tools. Bualo's turn-of-the-century architecture and world-class urban design provide inspired settings for applied preservation research.
Neighborhood Planning & Community Development
Rethink planning and design toward the development of the just urban metropolis. Through a community-driven process, explore the physical, economic and social dimensions of development in underserved communities. Particular focus is given to the intersection of race, class, and gender in the construction of our built environments.
Urban Design & Physical Planning
Advance research and practices that make cities and neighborhoods more livable, pedestrian-friendly and environmentally and aesthetically agreeable. Applying the tools of GIS, site planning, landscape, and design, students reimagine the city across all scales, from waterfronts and parks, to streetscapes and infrastructure programs, to housing and town or village centers.
Local Host Theme
The Continuing City: People, Planning, and the Long Haul to Urban Resurgence
Buffalo has been the subject of a recent spate of “urban comeback” stories in the national press. Typically, these stories leave an impression that Buffalo’s recovery from long-term economic, physical, and social decline has somehow been a sudden thing. Like most planners, many of our citizens understand that improvements in the quality of urban life are the result of persistent and recursive planning and action across decades. Local conversations, like contemporary academic discourses, also acknowledge that these improvements are ongoing, partial, incomplete, and unevenly distributed.
Buffalo is currently enjoying an apparent explosion of new housing in and around our downtown. It seems sudden but center city housing has been a continuing focus of discussion, planning, and action for the past 40 years. And that’s only one example of how we can better understand the dynamics of planning and action when we look at them over “the long haul.”
The theme of The Continuing City will provide us with an opportunity to tell our stories while it invites others to share theirs, all within the longer temporal frame the theme suggests. This can be as appropriate to growing cities like Houston, Washington, or San Francisco as it is to our kindred “rust-belt” cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland or disaster-battered cities like New Orleans. All have been made and remade in an ongoing way. In any of these cases planning plays a crucial role as governments, citizens, developers, and others strive to shape the future of their cities, year after year and decade after decade.
The temporal frame of “the long haul” also encourages participants to look at the development and propagation over time of ideas about the city, the role of embedded professionals and activists (Jane Jacobs’ “people who stay put”), the growth of specific (and local) knowledges in city-making, the long term development of advocacy organizations, the construction of procedures and protocols of participation and planning, the development of the institutional bases for planning, and the evolution of the physical and social city itself.
At the same time, The Continuing City theme urges participants to look forward, not just by years, but by decades, even centuries. If we got to where we are today through sustained action, long struggle, and continuous development we can imagine more distant futures by projecting the same kinds of step-wise processes forward.
Local Host Committee
Dan Hess, Department Chair
& Local Host Committee Chair
- University at Buffalo
- Jonathan Bleuer: JBleuer@clarence.ny.us
- Dan Hess: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bradshaw Hovey: email@example.com
- Camden Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Samina Raja: email@example.com
- Robert Silverman: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rachel Teaman: email@example.com
- Kerry Traynor: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Li Yin: email@example.com
- Tracy Martell: firstname.lastname@example.org