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Open Source Ideas at the Buffalo Research Workshop

Open Source Ideas at the Buffalo Research Workshop


Here’s a preview of some data visualizations from a presentation that I’ll be giving at the Buffalo Research Workshop tomorrow (June 15 2016; 9am – 1pm) at the Market Arcade Building (1st Floor Conference Room, 617 Main Street). The workshop is being presented by Open Buffalo, Partnership for the Public Good, andd University at Buffalo Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative (CEPP). In the talk, I’ll share the many ways a variety of stakeholder-practitioners are using community-generated data to enhance a community tree planting project called ReTree the District.


ReTree the District is a collaborative community project taking place in Buffalo’s University District; over 20 public/private/nonprofit/community groups (full list at bottom) are working together to plant 1000 trees in neighborhoods still recovering from Dutch Elm Disease in the 1970s, the October Surprise in 2006, and now threatened by the emergence of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer. A healthy urban tree canopy brings a multitude of benefits including energy savings, health benefits, pollution reductions, and neighborhood-based economic development. Research shows that trees are also an indicator of economic inequality*, so planting projects like this can go a long way toward addressing social challenges and improving equity. (*Note: a reader submission of Buffalo, NY is on page 2)



In addition to the presentation, the event will mark the release of the first of a series of informational briefs called “Open Source Ideas.” The name of the series is a play on the concept of open source software, where source code is developed collaboratively in a public manner and anyone can study, change, or redistribute it to anyone and for any purpose. It is my hope that the ideas that emerge from the series will be shared, remixed, reapplied, and perhaps someday integrated into nonprofit operations or public policy. This first brief is about the use of multiple data collection methods (community mapping, text message tools, field surveys) that have helped make the all-volunteer project a success.


Other talks and presenters include:

Evaluating the Impact of Complete Streets Initiatives (Jim Lenker)

Understanding the Impact of Contamination in the Eighteenmile Creek Corridor in Lockport (Tammy Millio)

Employment Centers Analysis using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (Craig Rogers)

Living in the Community: Changes and Continuing Challenges (Michael Rembis)

Sexual, Peer2Peer and Communication Networks of WNY Transgender Communities (Adrian Juarez)

Planting Trees and Building Bridges: Overcoming the Research-Practitioner Divide (Aaron Krolikowski)

Valuing Black Lives in East Side Pentecostal Churches (Frederick Klaits)

Research in the work of the United Way (Suzanna Challen)

Immigrant and Refugee Research Institute (Wooksoo Kim)

The School Health and Wellness Collaborative- year 1 findings (Renee Cadzow)

Engaged Scholarship: Lessons Learned from Working with an Indigenous Community in Australia (Cynthia Stuhlmiller)

The Impact of Patient Voices on Buffalo Research (Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter)



ReTree the District – Partner Organizations:

Akron Tree Farms, Bailey Avenue Business Association, B Team Buffalo, Buffalo CarShare, Buffalo Green Fund, Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, Chestnut Ridge Nursery, City of Buffalo Division of Parks and Recreation, Dunkin’ Donuts, Grow716 (CFGB), Home Depot, ReTree WNY, Schichtel’s Nursery, St. Joseph University Parish, University at Buffalo, UB Academies, University Heights Collaborative, University District Block Club Coalition, University District Community Development Association, University District Councilmember Rasheed NC Wyatt, and the University Heights Tool Library


Research Consultant

Aaron Krolikowski is an independent research consultant based in Buffalo, NY, USA. Working globally, he explores the intersection of technology, development, and public service provision.

1 Comment
  • Kathleen Vertino
    June 14, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Great job Aaron !!

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