Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency Organizational Assessment and Implementation

January 2020   Buffalo, NY


  • Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

Key Personnel

Key Points

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.


Helping BURA reconfigure their role in Buffalo's urban development realm meant working with them to develop a longview of policy-making.


Asakura Robinson is helped BURA develop and carry out an extensive community engagement process to inform a five year vision plan for community development efforts.


Asakura Robinson helped BURA craft a new narrative for themselves by prioritizing the community's needs and building the agency's capacity to serve them more effectively.

Historically, the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency has 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.

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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