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The Partnership for the Public Good and Cornell University have created a public commons for collective knowledge sharing, impactful applied research, and public policy development. Buffalo Commons is both an in-person platform, fostering these relationships and an online tool, sharing the knowledge of the local area via reports, policy briefs, fact sheets, radio shows, and artistic expressions. Collaborative and democratic in design and purpose, Buffalo Commons hosts a diverse network of faculty, students, practitioners, and community partners.

Visit each page to learn more about the numerous ways that students, staff, and faculty are able to participate in service-learning and civic engagement efforts in Buffalo.

Digital Library

Working together, the network of partners and researchers has developed an extensive body of data and action-oriented research on the conditions and issues facing the region. Making this public information more accessible to faculty and students from Cornell and local universities and colleges, Buffalo Commons has developed a searchable hub spanning issue areas from economics to education, housing to community health, poverty to environment.

The main goal of this initiative is to make information accesible to our Western New York regional partners and scholars/researchers interested in expanding and deepening the body of knowledge related to Buffalo, New York.

With over 400 publication, featured work is categorized by the following issue areas:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Criminal Justice
  • Data, Demographics, and History
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Equality and Civil Rights
  • Government
  • Health
  • Housing and Neighborhoods
  • Poverty, Low Wage Work, and Income Inequality

Buffalo Commons Library is constantly evolving and we welcome ongoing contributions from local experts, community partners, and researchers.

Are you a community partner with a research need?

We would love to help connect you to researchers or graduate students who are interested in working to help find local solutions to questions.

Visit here to submit a proposal.

Physical Space

The physical space of Buffalo Commons is situated within the Market Arcade in Downtown Buffalo, and provides a central location for faculty, staff, students, and the community to convene and work together on action based research on a range of Buffalo-specific issues.

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The inclusive and adaptable space includes:

  • Multiple conference and meeting rooms with AV/VC capability
  • Collective working spaces with technological tools
  • Various subscription based platforms: including Adobe and ArcGIS Pro Suite
  • Visual Buffalo-based arts integration

The in-person feature of the Buffalo commons includes large meeting and conference rooms with video-conferencing capability, working spaces with computers, wall-mounted digital displays, and maps, all accessible for community members students or scholars. As the project develops, available software will correspond to distinct forms of community research from data collection including mapping software, statistical packages, report design software, image and photo editing tools, and data visualization tools. Any Cornell faculty visiting Buffalo or looking to host a talk or event or would like to learn more about a partner organization, are encouraged to reach out to us if they are interested in using the space.

Researchers Network

PPG and Cornell actively collaborate with colleagues from the University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State, and other institutions of higher education, along with the John R. Oishei Foundation and community groups interested in university-economy-community connections. The Researchers Network is intended to help foster these action oriented and service learning, types of collaborations. PPG works with local Policy Fellows who conduct Western New York specific research with partners.

We have compiled a full directory of researchers both in and out of academia who do research focused on the Buffalo region. Cornell faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out to us if they or their students might be interested in conducting Buffalo-specific research.

Workshop Series

COVID-19 Response: All workshops will be held via Zoom until further notice.

Buffalo Commons offers workshops that share knowledge for the public good on topics ranging from civic engagement and local policy to best practices in community-based research. Researchers have shared their areas of expertise to audiences of partners and practitioners while organizations have provided trainings on a variety of subjects like LGBTQ Cultural Competency and Research Tools for Organizers.

View past workshops and their accompanying resources. Unless otherwise noted, each will occur in the Buffalo Commons Classroom @ 617 Main Street, Floor 3R. Space is limited to 30 people. Workshops are free and open to the public.

Would you like to attend or present at a workshop? Email us, at

These workshops were made possible through the John R. Oishei Foundation which is committed to funding important research and promoting community learning.