Student Projects

The University at Buffalo offers opportunities for students to develop expertise in planning for community health and food systems through hands-on planning practicum or planning studios. Students prepare plans on behalf of a client such as community organizations or local governments over the course of a semester. Students engage community members throughout the planning process, as well as learn to generate, analyze, and synthesize a wide quantitative, qualitative, and spatial data in a formal planning report. Practica focused on community health and food systems are often taught by Dr. Raja and supported by other Food Lab team members. Food systems practica offered by the University at Buffalo have been recognized for their excellence regionally and nationally, including earning awards from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Chautauqua County Food System Assessment | 2017

In the spring 2017 semester, students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning worked with the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the county’s Growing Food Connections (GFC) Steering Committee to conduct a county-wide food system assessment. The project charge was to understand the capacity of the food system as a lever for economic development in … Continue reading Chautauqua County Food System Assessment | 2017

Kerala Acting Collectively for Equity (ACE): Public Health Equity Through Improved Water, Sanitation and Waste Management in Maradu, Kerala (India) (Spring 2016)

The purpose of this interdisciplinary studio was to assist the municipality of Maradu in the state of Kerala in Southern India by preparing a report to inform the local government’s city-wide sanitation planning process. A group of thirteen students from the fields of architecture, environmental engineering, public Health and urban planning worked under the guidance of Drs. Samina Raja and … Continue reading Kerala Acting Collectively for Equity (ACE): Public Health Equity Through Improved Water, Sanitation and Waste Management in Maradu, Kerala (India) (Spring 2016)

Invest in Fresh: A Plan for Promoting Healthy Food Retail in Jamestown, New York (2013)

The purpose of this planning studio  was to develop a planning report to improve access to healthy, affordable food in the small city of Jamestown in the rural Chautauqua County in Western New York. Prepared on behalf of the Chautauqua County Health Network, the report aimed to improve the health and wellness of residents as well as respond to the … Continue reading Invest in Fresh: A Plan for Promoting Healthy Food Retail in Jamestown, New York (2013)

Room at the Table: Food System Assessment of Erie County (2011)

The purpose of this planning studio was to develop a county-wide food systems assessment of Erie County, New York on behalf of the Department of Erie County Department of Environment and Planning Students to inform the county’s farmland preservation planning process. Working in partnership with public and civic agencies, students developed a report that outlined the challenges and opportunities within … Continue reading Room at the Table: Food System Assessment of Erie County (2011)

Kid Corridors: An Active Commuting Plan for the Williamsville Central School District (Fall 2009)

The purpose of this planning studio was to develop materials that would encourage and educate children to walk and bicycle to school, and create a “Kids Corridor” plan. Graduate students in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning worked in collaboration with officials of the Town of Amherst, which had received a federal Safe Routes To School grant in conjunction … Continue reading Kid Corridors: An Active Commuting Plan for the Williamsville Central School District (Fall 2009)

Queen City Gardens Plan: Planning for Community Gardens in the City of Buffalo (2009)

Graduate students in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning PD 525 “Planning for Food Justice” course wrote the plan on behalf of the Buffalo City Council Community Gardens Task Force. The goal of the Queen City Gardens Plan is to foster and protect sustainable community-based garden projects throughout the City of Buffalo. The graduate student team researched the state … Continue reading Queen City Gardens Plan: Planning for Community Gardens in the City of Buffalo (2009)

Food for Growth: A Community Food System Plan for Buffalo’s West Side (Fall 2003)

The purpose of this planning studio was to create a community food systems plan for the West Side neighborhood in Buffalo, New York.  Students from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning worked on behalf of the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP), a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing urban neighborhoods and improving food security through urban farming and youth leadership development. The … Continue reading Food for Growth: A Community Food System Plan for Buffalo’s West Side (Fall 2003)