As the seasons turn, so do our wheels!

WNY Walks! | June 13, 9 am am-June 14, 2019

WNY Walks! Summit

The WNY Walks! Initiative is hosting a Walkability Summit Thursday June 13th and 14th at the Downtown Buffalo Grand Hotel. The Summit will address the challenges to increasing walking in the rural, urban, and suburban neighborhoods of Greater Buffalo and WNY.

The Summit offers citizens and stakeholders strategic planning sessions, opportunities for networking and taking action in promoting walking and walkability to improve WNY’s personal , social .economic and environmental  health. The Institute and its partners are excited to announce that the Walkability Summit will feature keynotes Dr. Ian Thomas of America Walks ( Thursday afternoon, June 13th, and Amanda O’Rourke, CEO of 8-80 Cities ( and Buffalo’s WINTERMISSION project speaking Friday afternoon, NY State and Ontario public .private .nonprofit and citizen sectors leaders .planners and stakeholders are invited to attend. Summit registration is at Eventbrite and student rates available!    

Thursday afternoon keynote Dr. Ian Thomas is the State and Local Program Director with America Walks, where he develops and delivers education programs about the benefits of walkable communities and strategies to create them. For over a decade Dr. Thomas served as the founding Executive Director of the PedNet Coalition of Colombia, Missouri, where he developed one of the largest Walking School Bus programsin the country, advocated for the adoption of the first “complete streets” policy in Missouri, and worked in reducing neighborhood speed limits to promote walkability.

Friday keynote Amanda O’Rourke is CEO at 8-80 Cities, a Toronto-based organization promoting livable cities for all ages through strategic planning, policy changes, programs and engaging community members to build environmental, economic, and social capital. O’Rourke also leads 8-80 Cities’ national WINTERMISSION; Buffalo is one of three cities participating in this new initiative, which addresses program implementation and the improvement of pedestrian safety and a positive walking experience to promote walkability and livability in winter cities.


Buffalo Grand Hotel owner Harry Stinson commented-“having lived most of my life in Downtown Toronto, I appreciate the vitality of a ‘walkable City” Greater Buffalo has so much potential in that respect- given the extraordinary architecture, magnificent parks, character neighborhoods, and now, Canalside, all of which are improving even more now”