3 Implementing the Plan

Achieving the goal of the Buffalo Comprehensive Plan – to reverse the long term decline of the city’s population, employment and physical environment – will require a well-organized and disciplined approach to implementation over the next decade and beyond. This section of the plan describes the specific actions needed to do that.

The implementation program is based on an understanding that even after the City of Buffalo does everything it can to reform and rationalize the operations of city government, and after it invests all the capital funds available to it within the State constitutional limits for municipal taxing and borrowing, the resources to be applied to the redevelopment of the city will be insufficient to meet the goal of this plan by 2030. 

Figure 60 Planning Framework

Figure 60 Planning Framework (Popup full image) 

Implementation of the plan will come, in large part, through the management of Buffalo’s Capital Improvement Program as augmented by a special Buffalo Development Program to be negotiated among City, County, State and federal governments. The estimated additional need to be met through the Buffalo Development Program is $35 million a year for a period of ten years. 

The implementation program assumes an ongoing improvement in both intergovernmental relations and expansion of cooperation among public, private, and not-for-profit sector entities. County, State and federal governments have a significant stake in the success of the plan. Likewise, business, citizen, and community based organizations have much to contribute. 

Successful implementation of the Comprehensive Plan will also require continued elaboration of an emerging framework of planning and policy for the city. The Comprehensive Plan provides a broad framework for plans and policies that require much greater detail. Further, it is essential that the Comprehensive Plan, and all of its subelements to come, be adopted by Common Council and treated as having the force of law that they do.

Implementation of the plan needs to be accompanied by a program of continuous monitoring and measurement against objective and quantifiable standards of performance. Data on housing, employment and population can help City policy-makers adjust the strategy on a continuing basis.

Finally, a specific array of next steps must be taken now, starting with work on the special Buffalo Development Program. The restoration of Buffalo’s built and natural environment, the transition to a growing, mixed economy, and the reversal of current employment and population trends will require everything Buffalo can do for itself and more. We need to start right away.