Historical Overview

Founded in 1987 by Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., the UB Center for Urban Studies is a research, neighborhood planning and community development institute, which focuses on the transformation of distressed urban neighborhoods into communities of hope and opportunity.  It seeks to achieve this goal by fighting to end neighborhood inequality and spatial injustice through the building of the Good Metropolis. The UB Center is the planning and community development arm of the Department of Planning’s Neighborhood Planning and Community Development Specialization.

During its early years, the UB Center was an independent center that worked under the supervision of the Vice-President for Public Service and Urban Affairs at the University at Buffalo.  During this period, the UB Center popularized public service at the University and led a major effort to revitalize the neighborhood immediately surrounding UB’s South Campus.  The UB Center also led the first major study on Regionalism in Western New York, which led to the founding of the UB Regional Institute.

In 1998, the UB Center was transferred to the UB School of Architecture and Planning, where it launched a major effort to develop a strategy to end neighborhood inequality and spatial injustice. This place-based regeneration strategy is based on the economic, physical, social and institutional development of neighborhoods and their socioeconomic integration into the larger metropolitan region.