What Does It Mean to be a Binational Region in a Globalized World? Cross-Border Innovation and Community Prosperity in Southern Ontario and Western New York
Kathryn Freidman | BIG Policy Reports
The cross-border region encompassing western New York and southern Ontario is in transition. Rather than maintaining a status quo outlook forged from decades of decline in population, employment and GDP, leaders on each side of the border are leveraging assets to strengthen human capital and create purposeful transformation to foster sustainable communities, creativity and innovation. Buffalo Niagara is targeting investment in initiatives such as the build-out of the Downtown Medical Corridor; investment in cultural/heritage tourism and health sciences innovation; and stewardship of the Great Lakes. In 2015, Buffalo Niagara also was selected as one of several regional site teams for a “Communities that Work” partnership, a workforce development effort aimed toward driving talent-based economic development locally and across the country. At the same time, parallel efforts are taking place in southern Ontario. Just a stone’s throw away, leaders in the Niagara Region and City of Hamilton are similarly committed to increasing economic opportunity and creating well-paying jobs by strengthening innovation (e.g., health sciences), natural heritage (Niagara Falls and Great Lakes) and cultural asset (tourism) strategies – all with an eyetoward workforce development and creating healthy, vibrant, prosperous communities.
Kathryn Freidman, Director of Cross-Border and International Research, University at Buffalo (SUNY)