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Changing perceptions: The vital role of civic engagement in Buffalo's regeneration

Discusses the state of WNY's economic development efforts, the problem of public disconnect, and how civic engagement can be a catalyst for sustainable development projects.
by

Matthew Pelkey

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of Changing perceptions: The vital role of civic engagement in Buffalo's regeneration

Problem...
so where are we?
Funding
who to engage?
the vital role of
civic engagement in Buffalo’s regeneration

changing
perceptions

Public Disconnect
Solution:
engagement
“Change your
thoughts
...
how to engage?
Examples of engagement models
...
and you change your
destiny
.”
Detroit's Civic Engagement Plan
Changing Civic Culture
The Cost of Sprawl:
A Net Loss
Regulatory
Planning
Funding
Better Buffalo Fund
Buffalo Breakthrough Business Challenge (B3C)
cFA
NYSERDA cleaner greener communities fund
WNY Power Proceeds Allocation
Private investment
Z80 & BNMC
Regulatory
Buffalo Green Code
Remove barriers to mix-use
Unleash economic centers
Protect historic character
Encourage walkability
Streamline approval
Simplify standards
Planning
One Region Forward
NYSERDA
REDC/Buffalo Billion Investment Plan
Top 10 principles of Urban Development
4. work together
6. engage everyone
7. empower people
Why engagement?
Creates buy-in & vested interest from community
Decreases opposition
Strengthens collaboration
Gives credibility
Increases political leverage of community
Improves substance of project
Changes external/internal perceptions
"What is the city but the
people
?"
- William Shakespeare
after all...
Educate
Engage
Empower
Involve community stakeholders
Involve citizens
Create understanding
Create voices for citizens
Create transparency
Be innovative
Everyone.
Telephone & Community Conversations
crowdfunding/crowdsourcing campaigns
Social media
Use of neighborhood apps
Community resource sites
Unique partners on projects
Other cities- Vancouver & Detroit
www.neighbor.ly
www.fundrise.com
www.indiegogo.com
www.popularise.com
Exceeded goal in raising over
$24,000
.
Over
2600
followers through social media
Over
300
contributors
Nominated by Artvoice for
"best new idea."
Approval and cooperation from City officials
They are not even open
"the most valuable part of crowdfunding was the community engagement…we couldn’t have paid $23,000 for that kind of exposure.”

- Silo City Rocks CEO Jason Schwinger
Silo City Rocks
Saranac Lake Community Store
Closure of only community department store
Sold shares at $100
Raised $500,000
Opened 4,000 sq ft
Renovation project on Main Street in village
"So when Wal-Mart Stores came knocking, some here welcomed it. Others felt that the company’s plan to build a 120,000-square-foot supercenter would overwhelm their village, with its year-round population of 5,000, and put local merchants out of business.”
-New York Times
Western Erie Canal Alliance Mission

Over 40,000 volunteer hours
$1M in community investment
$4M in private donations
78 community events
29 new businesses
77 net new jobs created
16% decrease in vacant store fronts
All from an initial grant of $380,000
Erie Canal village regeneration project
How to tell if you are
innovative with engagement
Reaches different audiences
Gives people new ways to give their input
Flexible in implementation
Full transcript