Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency Organizational Assessment and Implementation

January 2020   Buffalo, NY

Client

  • Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

The strategic plan to re-envision the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency's role in the city's development focuses not only on planning for their future but also on building their organizational capacity.

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Key Points

A strategic plan transforms the structure and image of an agency to prioritize and better serve the community.

Vision

Helping BURA reconfigure their role in Buffalo's urban development realm has meant working with them to develop a longview of policy-making. We understand that developing a five year plan means rewriting the narrative of change and how to achieve it.

Engagement

After a strategic review of the agency's capacity, Asakura Robinson is helping BURA to develop and carry out an extensive community engagement process to inform a five year vision plan for community development efforts.

Transformation

BURA is looking to transform themselves structurally and in the eyes of the community. Asakura Robinson is helping them craft a new narrative for themselves by prioritizing the community's needs and building the agency's capacity to serve them more effectively.


The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency is in the process of re-envisioning their role in the future of Buffalo. Historically, they have been responsible for handling the finances of all of the HUD funded projects in the city, but the city of Buffalo is evolving and the agency must grow to meet these new opportunities. For the first time in many years, the city has seen a steady rise in population and downtown investment, and this demands an updated approach to urban development.

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Asakura Robinson understands the value of the public sector, and the challenges that they face in pursuing specific policies. Part of our focus has been helping BURA to create a narrative of their current work and future goals to help them identify what skills they have and how to leverage those to meet the city’s other needs around housing. Our work with BURA highlights an integral part of Asakura Robinson’s mission – we believe in building capacity. Accordingly, we committed to moving beyond an organizational strategy review and are helping them build a comprehensive vision plan for the next 5 years of planning priorities. A successful vision plan will hinge up having a public mandate for where to focus the agency’s efforts over the next few years. Accordingly, an essential element in the capacity building for BURA is institutionalizing a method and ethos for transparency with the public through intentional engagement. This will help the city’s residents to better understand and anticipate the agency’s work in serving the community.

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