Join a Vibrant Hub for Innovation

Paper fibers as the basis of habitable structures? Architects and planners paired with epidemiologists for global health equity? Building robots for safer, smarter construction sites? Mobilizing sustainable development through a citizen planning academy? Through a pedagogy of research-based practice in the studio and community, we ask the questions that push boundaries, cross disciplines and create connections. 

Selected work from our faculty and students

  • Minus Minimums
    Eliminating parking minimums can reduce unnecessary parking supply and encourage development constrained by excessive minimum requirements. Land use, location, and transportation demand initiatives affect the quantity of off-street parking supplied in response to market conditions. Our findings suggest mixed-use developers are likely to take advantage of the ability to provide less parking in highly accessible locations. Though many developers quickly pivot to the newfound possibilities of providing fewer parking spaces, others continue to meet earlier requirements. Cities of all types stand to benefit from undoing constraining parking policies of the past and allowing developers to transform parking lots to “higher uses.”
  • Rust Belt Cosmopolitanism: Resettlement Urbanism in Buffalo, New York

    Buffalo at the Crossroads is a collection of essays where twelve authors highlight the outsized importance of Buffalo, New York, within the story of American urbanism. Özay’s contribution reflects on the urban impacts of refugee resettlement in Buffalo, situating in the historic context of immigration and pluralism fostered by the city.

  • Planning Corruption or Corrupting Planning?
    Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah, assistant professor of urban and regional planning, and Wes Grooms, planning theorist, urban political economist and a visiting assistant professor of urban and regional planning, join forces with renowned authors  to better understand corruption and how it complicates planning. 

Our pursuit of research as core curriculum is situated with a broad inter-disciplinary approach that reaches across the University at Buffalo, a flagship campus of The State University of New York and one of 34 public research universities in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Specializations in planning and graduate research groups in architecture infuse studios and seminars with inquiry into topics as diverse as historic preservation, urban design, ecological practices and the relationship of the built environment to computational technologies. Five research centers, including the internationally renowned Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access, reinforce the school’s research enterprise. In 2017, the School of Architecture and Planning generated over $4 million in research expenditures, placing us among the top 3 of all schools of architecture and planning in the prestigious AAU.

Top in Research

Our faculty in both the architecture and urban planning programs rank at the top among their peers in the Association of American Universities, a group that includes Cornell University, Harvard GSD, and the University of Michigan. According to 2018-19 data, the Department of Architecture ranks #1 in research dollars awarded, #1 for grant dollars per faculty member, and #4 for percent of faculty with a book publication. Urban planning faculty rank #1 for dollars per grant, #3 for total grant dollars, and #4 for number of faculty with an award.*

The School of Architecture and Planning approaches design and planning research in relation to its socioeconomic, environmental, cultural, and technological contexts. From collaborative research projects to dual degrees, our planning and architecture programs ally with fields including engineering, fine arts, public health, law and business administration. A research-based curriculum also opens our programs to hands-on engagement with partners in the profession and community.

For our students, this culture of inquiry inculcates reflective practice and enterprise and paves a more seamless transition into the profession. For practitioners, it creates inlets to the academy and forums for in situ research. Together, the School of Architecture and Planning and its research partners are developing widely cited design and planning standards and speculative studies that push the limits of our disciplines.

*Ranking is based on 2018-19 annual research expenditures by all public schools of architecture and planning within the American Association of Universities. Among the 65 universities within the AAU, there are 34 public universities, 18 of which house accredited architecture and planning programs within one school. Among this peer set are the Harvard GSD, Columbia University, Cornell University, The Ohio State University, and University of Michigan.