UB’s State of the Region Project Receives Statewide Award

By Beverly Sanford

Release Date: September 28, 2000

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) has awarded its 2000 Planning Award for Public Education to the State of the Region project, an initiative of the University at Buffalo Institute for Local Governance and Regional Growth.

The award was presented recently at a luncheon held here as part of the New York Upstate Chapter American Planning Association conference.

"We are particularly delighted with this recognition," said institute Director John B. Sheffer, II, "because it emphasizes the importance of public understanding of the key issues that affect decision-making in our region.

"The fundamental premise of the State of the Region project is that 'you can't manage what you can't measure,'" said Sheffer. "That premise also implies that a region can't effect change without public understanding and public input.

"Indeed, the crucial importance of public education on regional issues is a key reason why the institute chose to involve more than 200 community members in shaping the original report, as well as why we've reached out to dozens of groups in the year following the report's release. We are grateful that the upstate APA chapter values the importance of this kind of public outreach."

The State of the Region initiative seeks to measure how the Buffalo-Niagara region is doing in 11 key areas -- economy, education, environment, equity, government, health, human services, planning and land use, public safety, regional assets, and technology and information -- and to recommend strategies for improving regional performance.

The project report, "State of the Region: Performance Indicators for the Buffalo-Niagara Region in the 21st Century," was released in November 1999. Publication of the first progress report is slated for November 2000.

The New York Upstate Chapter of the American Planning Association is one of 48 chapters and 18 divisions within the APA. The New York upstate chapter has almost 600 members in 48 counties and is divided into five sections that serve the Capital District, Central New York, the Genesee/Finger Lakes area, the Southern Tier and Western New York. The Upstate Chapter also includes more than 200 Canadian members in Ontario and Quebec.

The Western New York APA Section, the local unit of the New York upstate APA chapter, honored the "State of the Region" project in June with its 2000 Outstanding Planning: Implementation Award, then forwarded its nomination for the statewide award to the New York upstate chapter.