*Not a baccalaureate degree program
University at Buffalo Environmental Design addresses the arrangement, appearance, and functionality of neighborhoods, towns, and communities. In addition, environmental design is concerned with the way these places are experienced and used, as well as other aesthetic elements that contribute to the quality of community environments. Environmental design promotes the best use of a community's land and physical resources for residential, commercial, institutional, and recreational purposes.
Environmental Design provides students with the skills to understand, analyze, and solve development problems with a view toward community planning and the design of sustainable environments. The purpose of environmental design is to gain a better understanding of community environments and then apply that knowledge to improve physical surroundings. University at Buffalo Environmental Design addresses issues in the dynamic bi-national Buffalo-Niagara region as a laboratory for planning, design and development.
Upon successful completion of all requirements, the student will have knowledge of:
- Fundamental Skills: Ability to effectively use basic planning and development principles in environmental design
- Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, apply, and comparatively evaluate information related to environmental design challenges
- Communication Skills: Ability to effectively read, write, speak and listen, and visually communicate ideas
- Critical Practice Skills: Ability to apply evidence-based design, development, and planning methods and precedents to environmental design processes and proposals
Environmental designers plan and develop physical environments with which people interact every day. Direct, tangible engagement with the environment – whether it be neighborhoods, communities, streetscapes or citizen activists – is fundamental to the aspiring environmental designer. University at Buffalo Environmental Design is distinctive by engaging our students in the dynamic binational Buffalo-Niagara region. In Environmental Design, students become involved with municipal governments and neighborhood groups, urban and rural environments, citizens and leaders, and the challenges they face: both complex problems and creative opportunities. Environmental design inquiry becomes planning and development concepts for neighborhoods and communities.
The Architecture and Planning Library, located in Abbot Hall, is one of ten libraries within the University at Buffalo.
University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning IT Services comprise two sets of facilities: a central collection of laboratories and computing classrooms, and a collection of distributed facilities located in the graduate and undergraduate architecture and urban planning studios.
The Digital Fabrication Workshop provides a range of the latest equipment dedicated to material research, model making, and digital fabrication.
The Architecture and Planning Materials and Methods Shop, is available for school-wide projects and independent work.
The Visual Resources Center directly supports the curriculum with its ever-growing collection of slides, audiovisual equipment and an extensive image database. The center also produces video recordings of the school's lecture series and other events.
Senior faculty from University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning teach many courses in the undergraduate preprofessional environmental design program. Two faculty members from Urban and Regional Planning have been recognized with the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, some courses are taught by professional urban planners, public administrators, environmental educators, historic preservationists, architects, designers, and real estate developers. In academic year 2016-2017, University at Buffalo Urban and Regional Planning has 14 tenure/tenure track faculty, three clinical faculty, one visiting scholar, and eight adjunct faculty.
Please visit the Urban and Regional Planning department website for additional information about our faculty.
Career outlook information for Environmental Designers is available at the O-Net OnLine website. Sample career activities include:
- Participate in and support team planning, design, and development efforts.
- Prepare reports, using statistics, charts, visual design, and graphs, to illustrate planning and development studies in areas such as population, land use or zoning.
- Research, compile, analyze and organize information from maps, reports, investigations, images, and books for use in reports and special projects.
- Provide and process zoning and project permits and applications.
- Inspect site plans and designs for development proposals.
Alumni in Environmental Design have found employment in the following fields:
- City, county, township, or village planning
- Community development
- Construction management
- Economic development
- Educational administration
- Environmental management
- Environmental restoration planners
- Geographic information systems
- Historic preservation
- Industrial development
- Market research
- Neighborhood development
- Property management
- Real estate development
- Rural planning and development
- Site planning and development
- Transportation analysis
- Urban development
All architecture students have access to faculty mentors upon enrollment into the school. In addition, advisors with School of Architecture and Planning Undergraduate Education are available for assistance. Students are encouraged to consult regularly with their advisors and faculty mentors in matters pertaining to academic options, course selection, graduate studies and career opportunities. Students meet with advisors and faculty mentors as often as they choose to explore educational opportunities available within the department to plan a course of study that is consistent with their abilities, achievements, interests and expectations. The ultimate goal of advisement is to empower students to be active, responsible learners who take full advantage of the many opportunities the university provides in the areas of academics, research and community and global engagement. Visit UB Undergraduate Academic Advisement for additional information.
School of Architecture Undergraduate Education
126 Hayes Hall, South Campus
Phone: 716-829-3484 ext. 4
School of Architecture and Planning Website