December 21, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Success of Southern Tier Regional Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance Conference

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Success of Southern...

Community Development Experts, Local Elected Officials and Business Leaders to Share Economic Growth Strategies in the Southern Tier

Handbook for Local Governments and Nonprofits Serves as One-Stop-Shop Resource For State Grants And Programs – Available at:


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the success of the state’s tenth regional sustainability conference, which brought together over 400 community development experts, local elected officials and business leaders to share successful economic growth strategies in the Southern Tier. The conference is part of a statewide effort to boost awareness of resources available to local governments and nonprofit organizations to help create sustainable communities across New York. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul hosted the conference at Binghamton University, where she highlighted a handbook that serves as a one-stop-shop resource for State grants – providing context and web links to the complete list of more than 100 innovative funding programs.

"This administration has worked tirelessly during the last six years to implement a sustainable, bottom-up approach to economic development," Governor Cuomo said. "This conference brought together both the public and private sectors to build on this success, find solutions to the biggest challenges facing the Southern Tier and come up with plan to help ensure this region reach its true economic potential."

"The Sustainable Development Conference in the Southern Tier marks the tenth to be held across the State, bringing together government and community leaders to participate in a comprehensive approach to creating sustainable growth," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. "By empowering the people who know their communities best, the Governor is transforming the state’s economic development strategy into one that is not only successful, but is built to last."

The Sustainable Development & Collaborative Governance Conference draws on then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo's 1999 conference, "Bridging the Divide: Making Regions Work for Everyone: Shaping the Federal Agenda," which invited experts and academics in regionalism, smart growth and urban revitalization to present their ideas, followed by panel discussions among a diverse group of stakeholders.

Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State is prioritizing cross-collaboration between state agencies, local governments and community partners to maximize the collective impact of their efforts. The Southern Tier is a prime example of this bottom-up approach that has shown its success through the Regional Economic Development Councils.

To date, New York State has invested more than $3.1 billion in the Southern Tier helping to advance the region's goals. As of November of this year, total number of private sector jobs in the Southern Tier region stands at 238,100. The region's unemployment rate has dropped significantly as well – moving from 8.0 percent in November 2010 to 4.8 percent during the same time this year.

At the collaborative governance conference, speakers and panel discussions examined case studies, shared best practices and discussed examples of how New York State will continue to serve as a partner in creating sustainable, integrated communities and boosting bottom-up economic development efforts. Two sustainable development experts delivered keynote addresses:

· Ilana Preuss, Founder of Recast City, LLC

· Joe Minicozzi, Principal at Urban 3, LLC

Attendees included local elected officials, planners, economic development experts, housing advocates and more. The conference highlighted Governor Cuomo's commitment to mass transit and transit oriented development, as well as projects and investments in Long Island to build back better and stronger after Superstorm Sandy.

At the event, Lieutenant Governor Hochul announced that $2 million is now available to the 62 college and university REV Campus Challenge members to further their progress in developing and executing clean energy projects on campus, in the classroom and in their communities. Additionally, the Lieutenant Governor also announced that $1 million in planning grants will be made available through the Environmental Protection Fund's Smart Growth Program to enable upstate counties to develop community resiliency plans to withstand the extreme weather that has become the new normal.

Other sustainability and development programs that have been initiated or reformed over the last six years under Governor Cuomo include:

· Cleaner, Greener Regional Sustainability Plans

· Regional Economic Development Councils

· Land Bank Act to convert vacant properties

· Legislation to combat zombie properties

· Complete Streets design initiative

· Upstate Revitalization Initiative

· Hudson Valley Farmland Preservation and Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Programs

· Clean Energy Communities

· Brownfield Redevelopment Reform

· Historic Preservation Tax Credit

· Climate Smart Communities Grants

· Community Risk and Resiliency Act

Founder of Recast City, LLC Founder Ilana Preuss said, "Small-scale manufacturing businesses serve an important role to both create better paying jobs and attract investment to main streets in Southern Tier communities. Governor Cuomo’s sustainability conference today provides a great forum to discuss and implement main street revitalization and sustainable regional development."

Principal at Urban 3, LLC Principal Joe Minicozzi said, "The best return on investment for the public coffers comes when smart and sustainable development occurs downtown. In this sense, Smart Growth and downtown revitalization promote both fiscal and economic prosperity, while also achieving important social and environmental goals. Governor Cuomo’s Sustainable Development conference brings together all the stakeholders to community development to address these issues holistically for the betterment of the entire Southern Tier region."

Assemblymember Donna Lupardo said, "The continued economic resurgence of the Southern Tier has centered around a collaborative approach that relies on our regional strengths. From a renewed focus on downtown redevelopment to growing industry through the development of clean energy and local food systems, our region is positioning itself as an economic leader at the state and national levels. Today's conference brings together stakeholders from around the state to discuss how we can best leverage our assets to ensure our continued growth leads to a sustainable economy in the future. I sincerely appreciate the Governor's commitment to helping us make it a reality."

Binghamton University President and REDC Council Co-Chair Harvey Stenger said, "Under the Governor’s leadership, we are committed more than ever before to create and protect Southern Tier jobs – and the results are undeniable. Through New York’s bottom-up approach to economic development, our regional councils have brought together local business and community experts to jumpstart growth in new industries and strengthen our urban communities, and today’s conference will further our efforts. I am proud to call the Southern Tier home and look forward to the region’s continued growth for decades to come."

City of Binghamton Mayor Richard David said, "By bringing together urban planners, local officials, and some of our region’s greatest minds, this conference will help fuel new smart initiatives to continue supporting a sustainable economy throughout the Southern Tier. Thanks to the Governor’s investments in clean tech and world-class infrastructure, we have already come leaps and bounds in just a few short years and this conference will continue our region’s efforts."​

Contact the Governor's Press Office