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Sam Cole

Sam Cole is a Professor in the Department of Planning (since 1983) and the Department of Geography (1993 to 1997) at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Director of the Center for Regional Studies (1988-1993), and former President of the North East Regional Science Association.

Prior to this he was at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, the United Kingdom Department of Environment, and the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. He is a member of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis and the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research.

Dr. Cole has authored and edited several books on global models and futures scenarios including “Models of Doom: A Critique of the Limits to Growth” and “World Futures – The Great Debate”, “Worlds Apart: Technology, Distribution and the International Economy”, “The Global Impact of Information Technology”, and “Global Models and Futures Studies”. He was a member of the Council of the World Futures Studies Federation and is a North American editor of the journal Futures. In 2000 a paper “Dare to Dream: Bringing Futures into Planning” was part of a symposium that won the best paper of the year award from the American Planning Association.

Professor Cole has been a consultant to several international agencies including the European Commission, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, the UNDP African National Long Term Perspectives Studies Project, the UN Commission on Culture and Development, and prepared an Economic Development Plan for the Caribbean island of Aruba. He has worked with the UNDP/World Bank Project in China on Sustainable Development for the Yellow River Delta.

During the summer of 1999, Dr. Cole and two students from the Planning Program assisted the Statistics Department in Aruba in developing a GIS system for the Island’s Year 2000 Census of Population. He has recently been involved with the evaluation of the Niagara Mohawk Power Choice proposals for New York State, assessing the impact of a Cruise Ship Care facility in the Bahamas, and a socio-economic analysis of the role of the Niagara Falls Power Project in the development of Western New York.

In Spring 2000, Professor Cole worked with the Center for Urban Studies to develop economic impact models for inner-city communities. In a subsequent project, he worked with Professor Henry Taylor on a project entitled Utilizing Tax Increment Financing to Revitalize a Heritage Neighborhood which won the Fannie Mae/American Collegiate Schools of Planning Award for the best practice-oriented paper.

In 2002-2003 Sam Cole and Victoria Razak, on sabbatical in Aruba, were invited to prepare a framework for sustainable tourism for the island and this was presented, during 2003-4, at several venues in Aruba and elsewhere.

Since returning from Aruba, Dr. Cole has led tourism planning studios in the Southern Tier of Western New York and in 2005 his students won the coveted APA Carole Bloom Award. He is currently working on theories of chaos and complexity in tourist destinations as an aspect of globalization.

Robert Silverman

329 Hayes Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214


Rob Silverman is the Senior Research Associate in the Center for Urban Studies, a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Director of the Urban and Regional Planning PhD Program at the University at Buffalo. His research and teaching focus on fair and affordable housing, education reform, community development, and urban social institutions. He has published a number of journal articles, books, book chapters, and edited volumes on these topics.


Dr. Silverman’s research focuses on the non-profit sector, the role of community-based organizations in urban neighborhoods, education reform, shrinking cities, and inequality in inner city housing markets. His current research projects include studies of non-profit organizations, anchor institutions, inner-city schools, and fair housing.


B.S. (political science), Arizona State University
M.P.A. (public administration), Arizona State University
Ph.D. (urban studies), University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


Dr. Silverman’s primary teaching interests are in the area of community development. In the past, he has taught courses in: community development planning, public finance, economic development, citizen participation, non-profit management, and housing policy. In addition to teaching in these areas, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Public Service

Dr. Silverman is a member of the governing board of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA). He is also co-chair of the 2014 conference program committee for the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). In addition to these activities, he has served on committees for the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), the Community Development Society (CDS), and other professional organizations. He is on the editorial boards of the journals Critical Sociology and Community Development. He has been a manuscript referee for the British Journal of Sociology, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Urban Affairs, Sage Publications, Rowman and Littlefield, and other publications. Dr. Silverman has also served on the University at Buffalo Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board (SBSIRB), been an academic delegate for the University at Buffalo Chapter of the United University Professions (UUP), and provided professional and community service in a number of other capacities.

Selected Publications

  • Silverman, Robert Mark. (2014) “Urban, Suburban and Rural Contexts of School Districts and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategies: Rediscovering Equity in Education Policy and Urban Planning.” Leadership and Policy in Schools.
  • Silverman, Robert Mark, Lewis, Jade and Patterson, Kelly L. (2014). “William Worthy’s Concept of ‘Institutional Rape’ Revisited: Anchor Institutions and Residential Displacement in Buffalo, NY.” Humanity & Society.
  • Schools and Urban Revitalization: Rethinking Institutions and Community Development. New York: Routledge, 2013. (with Kelly Patterson)
  • “Chasing a Paper Tiger: Evaluating Buffalo’s Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice,”Current Urban Studies, 1(3), 2013. (with Kelly Patterson and Jade Lewis).
  • “Dawn of the Dead City: An Exploratory Analysis of Vacant Addresses in Buffalo, NY 2008-2010,”Journal of Urban Affairs, 35(2) 131-152, 2013. (with  Li Yin and Kelly Patterson).
  • “Making Waves or Treading Water?: An Analysis of Charter Schools in New York State.”Urban Education, 48(2): 257-288, 2013.
  • “The Nonprofitization of Public Education: Implications of Requiring Charter Schools to be Nonprofits in New York,”Nonprofit Policy Forum, 3(1), 2012.
  • “The Four Horsemen of the Fair Housing Apocalypse: A Critique of Fair Housing Policy in the U.S.,”Critical Sociology, 38(1): 123-140, 2012. (with Kelly Patterson)
  • Fair and Affordable Housing in the US: Trends, Outcomes, Future Directions.Boston: Brill, 2011 and Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012. (with Kelly Patterson).
  • “The Effects of Perceived Funding Trends on Nonprofit Advocacy: A National Survey of Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations in the United States,”International Journal of Public Sector Management,24(5): 435-351, 2011 (with Kelly Patterson) (2012 Emerald Literati Network, Highly Commended Article Award)
  • “A Case for Expanding Nonprofit Activities in Affordable Housing: An Analysis of Low-income Housing Tax Credit Outcomes 1987-2006,” Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, 17(1):33-48, 2011 (with Kelly Patterson).
  • “Black Real Estate Pofessionals’ Perceptions of Career Opportunities: The Economic Detour Redux,” Review of Black Political Economy,38(2): 145-163, 2011.
  • “How Local Public Administrators, Non-Profit Providers and Elected Officials Perceive Impediments to Fair Housing in the Suburbs: An Analysis of Erie County, New York.” Housing Policy Debate, 21(1): 165-188, 2011 (with Kelly Patterson).
  • “How Unwavering is Support for the Local Property Tax?: Voting on School District Budgets in New York, 2003-2010.” Journal of Education Finance, 36(3): 294-311, 2011.
  • “The Effects of Perceived Funding Trends on Nonprofit Advocacy: A National Survey of Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations in the United States,”International Journal of Public Sector Management, 24(5): 435-451, 2011(with Kelly Patterson).
  • Editor,Fair and Affordable Housing in the US: Trends, Outcomes, Future Directions (with Kelly Patterson) . Studies in Critical Social Sciences Series, 2011.
  • “Including Voices of the Excluded: Lessons from Buffalo, NY” (with Kelly Patterson and Henry Taylor), Community Development, a Critical Analysis, 
  • “Non-profit Perceptions of Local Government Performance in Affordable Housing,”International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis 2(3): 253-262, 2009.
  • “Perceptions of Nonprofit Funding Decisions: A Survey of Local Public Administrators and Executive Directos of Community-Based Housing Organizations (CBHOs),” Public Organization Review9(3): 235-246, 2009.
  • “The Influence of Nonprofit Networks on Local Affordable Housing Funding: Findings from a National Survey of Local Public Administrators,”Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 44.1, pp. 126-241, 2008.
  • “Sandwiched Between Patronage and Bureaucracy: The Plight of Citizen Participation in Community-Based Housing Organizations (CBHOs),” Urban Studies, Vol. 46.1, pp. 3-25, 2009.
  • “CBOs and Affordable Housing,” National Civic Review, Vol. 97.3, pp.26-31, 2008.
  • “The Role of Citizen Participation and Action Research Principles in Main Street Revitalization: An Analysis of a Local Planning Project,” (with Henry L. Taylor, Jr. and Christopher G. Crawford) Action Research, 6.1: 69-93, 2008.
  • “Building a Better Neighborhood Housing Partnership.” (with Kelly L. Patterson) Housing and Society, Vol. 34.2, pp. 187-211, 2007.
  • “Mortgage Lending Disparities in Metropolitan Buffalo: Implications for Community Reinvestment Policy,” Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy,  38.1, pp. 36-44, 2008.
  • “Central City Socio-Economic Characteristics and Public Participation Strategies: A Comparative Analysis of the Niagara Region’s Municipalities in the US and Canada,”International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy,  28, No. 3/4, 138-153, 2006.
  • “Caught in the Middle: Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and the Conflict Between Grassroots and Instrumental Forms of Citizen Participation,” Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 36, No. 2, 35-51, 2005.
  • “Community Socioeconomic Status and Disparities in Mortgage Lending: An Analysis of Metropolitan Detroit.” The Social Science Journal, 2005.
  • “Redlining in a Majority Black City?: Mortgage Lending and the Racial Composition of Detroit Neighborhoods,” The Western Journal of Black Studies,  29, No. 1, 531-541, 2005.
  • Community-Based Organizations: The Intersection of Social Capital and Local Context in Contemporary Urban Society. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ed. 2004.
  • “Progressive Reform, Gender, and Institutional Structure: A Critical Analysis of Citizen Participation in Detroit ‘s Community Development Corporations (CDCs),” Urban Studies, 40.13: 2731-2750, 2003.
  • “Citizens’ District Councils in Detroit: The Promise and Limits of Using Planning Advisory Boards to Promote Citizen Participation,” National Civic Review, 92.4: 3-13, 2003.
  • “Vying for the Urban Poor: Charitable Organizations, Faith-Based Social Capital, and Racial Reconciliation in a Deep South City,”Sociological Inquiry,1: 151-165, 2003.
  • “Neighborhood Characteristics, CDC Emergence and the Community Development Industry System: A Case Study of the American Deep South,” Community Development Journal, 36.3: 234-245, 2003.
  • “CDCs and Charitable Organizations in the Urban South: Mobilizing Social Capital Based on Race and Religion for Neighborhood Revitalization,”Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 30.2: 240-268, 2001.

Selected Activites, Honors, and Awards

Moderator for the Cyberhood (; Emerald Literati Network Commended Article Award, 2012; Scott Greer Award for Postgraduate Achievement in the Study of Urban Social Institutions, 2009; Community Development Society Outstanding Program Award, 2008 (with Frida Ferrer, Jacqueline Hall, Jeff Kujawa, Kelly Patterson, and Henry Taylor; Outstanding Graduate, 1992, Arizona State University, College of Public Programs.

Gavin Luter


BA 2005, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Public and Urban Affairs
MS 2007, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Higher Education Administration
PhD 2015, University at Buffalo, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Gavin is currently the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Campus Compact. The Wisconsin Campus Compact is a coalition of Wisconsin’s leading colleges and universities dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement and service-learning. As a practitioner-scholar, Gavin has experience working in and with educational non-profits, school systems, and universities to both run programs and build systems-wide service coordination and reform capacity.  This work links back to his main research interest of how universities can catalyze school and neighborhood transformation.  As Coordinator of Educational Programs for the Center for Urban Studies from 2011-2015, Gavin provided oversight of all educational programs including the Futures Academy Community as Classroom Program, UB Summer Academic Camp on Neighborhood Development, and the Neighborhood Development Internship Program. In this capacity, Gavin was also Co-Guest Editor of a themed issue of the Peabody Journal of Education, “Higher Education’s Role and Capacity to Assist with Public School Reform.”  Before joining the CENTER, Gavin worked at the United Way of Greater Knoxville (2010-2011) and the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy (2006-2010).

Jeffrey Kujawa

330 Hayes Hall
UB South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214

As Assistant Director, Jeff oversees all day-to-day operations at the Center in the areas of administration, budgets, personnel, information technology, purchasing, student employees, space allocation, and equipment. He develops and manages all personnel, research, and grant budgets. Jeff also organizes all grant submissions. He is responsible for contracting and grant management issues between the Center and all private, local, state, and federal project sponsors. He works collaboratively with the Center Director in the areas of grant writing, fund raising, public relations, and communication between the Center and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Architecture and Planning, university administration, funding sources, project sponsors, and city, state, and other officials. Additional duties involve acting as co-director of the Center’s HUD Community Development Work Study Program and as the coordinator/instructor of the Center and Department’s undergraduate Urban Internship Program. Jeff received a Master of Urban Planning degree from UB in 1995.  Before joining the Center for Urban Studies team, Jeff was Housing Specialist for Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. in Buffalo.

Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.

330 Hayes Hall
UB South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214


Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr. is an internationally recognized scholar for his work on distressed urban neighborhood and social isolation among people of color.  His research focuses on a historical and contemporary analysis of distressed urban neighborhoods, social isolation and race and class issues among people of color, especially African Americans and Latinos.  Within this framework, Taylor’s research also focuses on these issues in Cuba, the Caribbean Islands and Latin America.  Lastly, Taylor is concerned with the redevelopment of shrinking cities and metropolitan cities, with a focus on social, economic and racial justice.



B.S. (Speech Pathology) Tennessee A&I State University

M.S. (Audiology) University of Tennessee

M.A. (Urban History) University at Buffalo

Ph.D. (Urban History) University at Buffalo



Dr. Taylor coordinates the Neighborhood Planning and Community Development Specialization and teaches courses in central city revitalization, urban management, and race, class and gender and the city.  Taylor also coordinates the Center for Urban Studies’ Urban Internship Program, which creates opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to become involved in neighborhood redevelopment initiatives and in research projects.


Public Service

Dr. Taylor is a member of the Steering Committee of the Anchor Institutions Task Force, a national organization that develops and disseminates knowledge to help create and advance democratic, mutually beneficial anchor institution-community partnerships.  Also, he is a member of the Board of Overseers of The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of the State University of New York.  Taylor has serviced on the governing boards of the Urban Affairs Association and the Urban History Association.  He is on the Board of the Editors of Universities and Community Schools, published by Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania, and was the planning coordinator for the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority’s Perry Choice Neighborhood Initiative and the founder of the Perry Choice Neighborhood History Project.  He created the Cyberhood ( on behalf of the Urban Affairs Association.


Select Publications

“Neighborhoods Matter:  The Role of Universities in the School Reform Neighborhood Development Movement, Peabody Journal of Education, 88(5), 541-563, 2013. (With Linda McGlynn and Gavin Luter).

“Beyond the Poverty Paradigm: The Neoliberal City and the Low-income Worker. The Buffalo, New York experience,” with Linda McGlynn and Gavin Luter. In Barbara Wejnert (ed.) Voices of Globalization (Research in Political Sociology, 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.161-180. 2013.

“Back to the Future: Public Schools as Neighborhood Anchors Institutions – The Choice Neighborhood Initiative in Buffalo, New York,” with Linda McGlynn and Gavin Luter.  In Kelly L. Patterson, Robert Mark Silverman (eds.), Schools and Urban Revitalization: Rethinking Institutions and Community Development, New York and London, Routledge, pp. 109-135. 2013.

Editor, Special Edition, Eugenie Birch and David C. Perry. Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement, 17, (3). (2013); “Universities as Anchor Institutions,” Journal of Higher Education Outreach & Engagement 17 (3), pp. 7 -15. 2013. (with Eugenie Birch and David C. Perry).

“Participatory democracy, neighborhood revitalization and the promise of the University at Buffalo.” In Sjur Bergan, Ira Harkavy, Hilligje Van’t Land (eds) Reimagining democratic societies: A new era of personal and social responsibility, Strasburg, France: Council of Europe Publishing. 2013.

Henry Louis Taylor, Jr., The Historic Roots of the Crisis in Housing Affordability: The Case of Buffalo, New York, 1920-1950 (2011), in Robert Mark Silverman, Kelly L. Patterson (eds.), Fair and Affordable Housing in the U.S.: Trends, Outcomes and Future Directions. Boston: Brill, 2011 and Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012.

“Including Voices of the Excluded: Lessons from Buffalo, NY” with Kelly Patterson and Robert Silverman. In J. Peter Rothe, Linda J. Carroll, Dejan Ozegovic (eds.) Deliberations in Community Development: Balancing on the Edge, Hauppauge, NY:  Nova Publishers, 2011.

“Cincinnati in the Gilded Age, 1877-1896,” in Cities in American Political History, ed. Richardson Dilworth, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage: CQ Press. pp. 331-336. 2011.

“The Community as Classroom Initiative: The Case of Futures Academy in Buffalo, New York,” Universities and Community Schools 8(1-2), 2010, pp. 31- 43. (with Linda McGlynn).

Inside El Barrio: A Bottom-Up View of Neighborhood Life in Castro’s Cub. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, 2009 and Korean edition, Seoul: Samcheolli Publishing Company, 2010.

“The connection: Schooling, youth development, and community building—The Futures Academy case,” New Directions for Youth Development No. 122. Summer 2009, pp. 19-41. (with Linda McGlynn).

“Solving the Dewey Problem: Where Do We Go From Here?” The Good Society, 17(2), 52-56. 2009. With Linda McGlynn.

“Using Capitalism to Save Socialism: International Tourism in Havana, Cuba”Using Capitalism to Save Socialism: International Tourism in Havana, Cuba,” doi:10.1016/J.Futures.11.012, 2008. With Linda McGlynn.

“The Role of Citizen Participation and Action Research Principles in Main Street Revitalization: An Analysis of a Local Planning Project,” Action Research, 6 (1): 69-93. 2008. With Robert Mark Silverman and Christopher G. Crawford.

“Connecting Community Development and Urban School Reform. In Urban Education with an Attitude: Linking Theory, Practice, and Community, ed. Lauri Johnson, Mary E. Finn, and Rebecca Lewis. Albany: SUNY Press, pp. 41-57. 2005.

Historical Roots of the Urban Crisis:  African Americans in the Industrial City, 1900-1950. New York: Garland Publishers, 2000.  With Walter Hill, eds..


Selective Activities, Honors and Awards

2012 Lee Benson Activist Scholar Award, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania, November 12, 2012

2009 U.S. Small Business Administration – Buffalo District Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year.  The award is based on Taylor’s role in founding and developing the Allstate Minority & Women Emerging Entrepreneurs Program, one of the top minority & women business support programs in the United States

2008 Outstanding Program Award – East Side Neighborhood Transformation Partnership (ESNTP).  The Community Development Society

2008 Time Magazine Quote of the Week on how Americans have lost sight of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message, January 21, 2008

2005 Distinguished Leadership, Michael J. Krasner Professional Planner Award, American Planning Association, New York Upstate Chapter and Western New York Section

2005 Outstanding Planning Award, Planning Implementation, Conceptual Transit-Orientated Development Plan for the Allen-Medical Campus and Summer-Best Stations, Buffalo New York (David Gamble, Chan Krieger & Associates, Michael Pratt, Watts Engineers, Henry L. Taylor, Daniel Hess, Peter Lombardi, and Jane Humphreys, Center for Urban Studies, UB)

2001  The Fannie Mae Foundation Award for the Best Action Research Paper in Housing and Community Development at the 2001 Associate of Collegiate Schools of Planning National Conference

2000 YMCA Toast to Buffalo Award for Distinguished Leadership.


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Our Team


Founding Director

Assistant Director and Research Associate

Chief of Staff

Senior research fellows

Executive Director of the Wisconsin Campus Compact

Professor, UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Professor, UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Assistant Professor, UB School of Social Work

Assistant Professor, UB Dept of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Professor, UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning

Assistant Professor, University of Washington-Bothell

Associate Professor, Louisiana State University

Senior Research Fellow

Planning Director at Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency

Research Fellows

President and CEO of J. W. Pitts Planning & Development LLC

Urban Planner specializing in GIS


Lead Teacher - Community as Classroom