Formed in 1999 by 15 lawyers, architects, planners, builder-developers, traffic engineers, public officials and other concerned citizens, Partners for a Livable Western New York is an all-volunteer group that works to bring about more livable communities through Smart Growth concepts and practices
It does so by supporting regional and local policies and regulations to promote cohesive neighborhood development through stabilization of existing neighborhoods, preservation of environmentally sensitive areas, municipal coordination and effective implementation of land use decisions. It also sponsors educational programs encouraging practices that support Smart Growth policies.
The Partners group is active in assisting and promoting the efforts of public officials, developers, builders, architects, planners and members of the public who undertake or support land use, building design and streetscape initiatives reflective of Smart Growth policies. And it serves as a center for the collection and dissemination of resource materials descriptive of policies and practices designed to facilitate more livable communities.
The group has brought major speakers on land use and built environment issues to Buffalo including: author James Howard Kunstler, Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening and planners Anton Nelessen, Jeffrey Speck and Victor Dover.
In recent years it has put together teams of architects, planners, traffic engineers and others for Saturday morning walks of neighborhoods at the request of citizen groups or public officials. Walks completed include the downtown areas of the cities of Lockport, Niagara Falls and Tonawanda and the Town of Eden, the City of Buffalo’s Allen Street, Connecticut Street, Bailey-Kensington and University District areas, and the villages of Akron, Alden, Blasdell, Hamburg, Geneseo and Williamsville. Three more walks are scheduled this spring.
A significant resource for Smart Growth interests, it has an extensive library of written, audio tape, video tape and compact disc materials concerning land use problems and solutions. It maintains an E-mail list of more than 500 people who are concerned about the livability of Western New York communities.