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Home > City Departments > Office of Strategic Planning > Buffalo Green Code

Buffalo Green Code

Welcome to the Buffalo Green Code online!

Whether you are already familiar with the Buffalo Green Code or you have only heard about it in the news or around your community, and wondered what it is, you can find everything you need to know about the Green Code right here, including why it’s such a huge step forward for the City of Buffalo!

What is the Buffalo Green Code?

The Green Code is a historic revision of Buffalo’s land use and zoning policies that promotes investment, facilitates job creation, and improves the environment. It supports and builds upon efforts spurred by residents throughout the City of Buffalo to create a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous community.

The Green Code Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) regulates all new development in the City of Buffalo, including zoning, subdivision and public realm (such as streets, parks and sidewalks) standards into a single, user-friendly document. The UDO is the first complete overhaul of the city’s zoning code in more than 60 years. It emphasizes the traditional character of Buffalo’s neighborhoods to realize the community’s vision for walkable, transit-supportive neighborhoods.

Based on the Buffalo Comprehensive Plan, the UDO codifies the Green Code’s Land Use Plan, a strategic plan for Buffalo’s development over the next 20 years, to help us implement smarter growth for the 21st century. 

Why is the Buffalo Green Code important?

The Green Code is a place-based development strategy that builds on Buffalo’s award-winning comprehensive plan, Queen City in the 21st Century. The Comprehensive Plan set the agenda for the city’s future by outlining four fundamental principles: fix the basics; build on assets; implement smart growth; and embrace sustainability.

In the six decades since the last zoning code was adopted, the City of Buffalo has gone through considerable physical and economic changes. The UDO provides new form-based zoning, subdivision, sign, and public realm standards that move the City of Buffalo forward into the 21st Century and beyond.

It implements the community’s vision for the development of the city. It emphasizes neighborhood character as its organizing principle, which helps to realize the community’s vision for walkable, transit supportive neighborhoods. Today, this document is more accessible to the general public, and uses illustrations, tables, and plain English text, to make the ordinance easier to understand and apply.

Buffalo Green Code Components

The Green Code brings together and codifies land use strategies from an array of interrelated planning initiatives, as follows: