University at Buffalo Environmental Design Interns Help Community Development Team with Neighborhood Research

University at Buffalo Environmental Design Interns Help Community Development Team with Neighborhood Research


University at Buffalo environmental design students Joseph Panella and Stefany Bueno interned in the Community Development and Planning Department at the University District Community Development Association, Inc. (UDCDA) at 995 Kensington Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14215.

Joe and Stefany spent the Fall semester at the UDCDA researching critical components addressing two major points of concern in the University District: commercial vacancies along Main Street and Bailey Avenue and residential parcel vacancies throughout the district. Both students consulted Erie County and City of Buffalo parcel records as well as the City of Buffalo’s 311 call database to identify vacancies that could be transformed into new commercial spaces, greenspaces, and potential lots for infill housing development. Their findings will inform future plans for infill, greenspace and business development projects.

In addition to developing the vacancy databases, Joe and Stefany had side projects using their individual talents. Joe, who is interested in landscape architecture, designed renderings for potential small scale greenspace in the Bailey-Kensington Neighborhood, including one on a vacant corner parcel located at the intersection of Kensington Ave and Suffolk St. His renderings envision what a former residential lot could look like if it were converted into a small park. Stefany assisted in the development of a business corridor survey that the UDCDA will roll out in early Spring. The survey will be administered to business owners, residents and the youth living in and around the Main Street and Bailey Avenue Business Corridors. The results of the survey will inform the Community Development Team on how to best approach business development along both corridors.

Each project Joe and Stefany worked on is a critical piece to fully understanding the needs of such a diverse district, and will have a long standing impact on the work our team takes on. We are very grateful for the chance to work with Joe and Stefany, as they both brought unique experiences and expertise to our team. We thank the Center for Urban Studies at UB for connecting them to us, and wish the best of luck to both as they complete their Environmental Design programs!

Get to know Joe and Stefany:

Joseph Panella

Joe is currently a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental design with a minor in both architecture and geography at the University at Buffalo. Being from the New York City area Joe has appreciated becoming engaged in the many opportunities the city of Buffalo has to offer.

Some of Joe’s interests include urban design and landscape architecture. He plans to attend graduate school for landscape architecture and planning after receiving his BA in environmental design so he can build upon improving the region of Western New York.

Joe is excited to use what he has learned in his courses on a larger scale with University District Community Development Association to enhance the City of Buffalo!

Stefany Bueno

Stefany Bueno is an undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo. She is currently in her senior year of the Environmental Design program. She transferred a year ago from New York City College of Technology. Her family is from the Dominican Republic and she is proud to be the first generation to attend a University in New York State! Her goal is to create a better community for residents and help them in the path to build themselves up instead of having other developers do it for them. She loves involving herself in all activities and organizations that strive to better the life of families and youth communities. So far she has been able to do so here at UDCDA and with their amazing team. It’s helped her get a foot in the doorway for her future and fed her the knowledge that she will need later on.