The terms “renaissance”, “rebirth” and “growth” are being used by local and national media alike. It seems like every week a new story makes its way around the local social media sphere showcasing the “new” Buffalo.
So what exactly is the Buffalo boom?
Here’s a break down of the region’s renaissance:
New jobs – At the end of July, it was announced that close to 700 new jobs would be coming to Buffalo with new companies investing locally. These types of announcements have been happening with more regularity, offering jobs in many different fields.
Additionally, the 43 North business plan competition will bring great start up ideas to Buffalo this year!
Population growth – For years, census reports showed a steady decline in the population of Buffalo but the past few years have started to show a reverse in that trend.
While we cannot boast a population increase, the decline has stalled and there has been an upward trend in one key demographic: 20-34 year olds.
As cited in a Buffalo News article from April 2014, “The uptick in the number of young people in the Buffalo Niagara region during that six-year period from 2006 to 2012 – the most recent data available – has been among the strongest among all of the counties in New York and easily exceeds national growth in that age group.”
Development – Where to start? In most areas of downtown Buffalo, new developments are popping up and cranes are filling the skies.
The Harbor Center project, a new Canalside, new builds on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and new Riverbend projects, are just a few of a long list of current development efforts.
Along with all the “new” it’s important to preserve the old – and so much money has been designated to our historical gems (like the Richardson Olmsted Complex) to maintain and reuse what we are fortunate enough to have here in Western New York. Did you know that of about 2,500 national historical landmarks, Buffalo has eight of them??
Buffalo’s landscape is changing and offering Western New Yorkers (and visitors) with more possibilities than ever before.
Enthusiasm – One of the most welcome changes has been a change in attitude.
The people of Buffalo believe in the city, want to get involved and are going out and making a difference. It is a palpable change that has been building over the past few years.
Nationally, there has been an attitude shift resulting in numerous positive news stories, including one going as far as calling Buffalo the new “it city”.
While the changes taking place in Buffalo are a great start, we need leadership and continued momentum to continue to propel Buffalo back to its glory days. We are not quite there yet. Buffalo is one of the poorest cities, we need to work on education, diversity issues and more to get us on a path to sustainable growth.
Change takes time. The amount of change I’ve witnessed in the past few years has been incredible. It leaves me very encouraged that we can continue to turn around the Queen City we love and help ensure the rest of the country takes notice!
It’s an exciting time to get involved in Buffalo and find YOUR way to make a difference. Whether holding politicians accountable, volunteering, or even just spreading the “good news” of Buffalo, we can all play a small role in Buffalo’s renaissance. They say it takes a village. I’d say it takes a city.
Let’s Go Buffalo!