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SOME FORWARD THINKING

Buffalo needs a plan if it wants to attract tourists, businesses and residents -- and at least three entities are on the right track.

All three efforts -- the University at Buffalo's Web-based MBA program, a proposed medical corridor from the Fruit Belt to Allentown and the preservation of the birthplace of the Niagara Movement -- are examples of how much can be accomplished with proper planning.

UB's Web-based MBA program will get the word out to the nation -- and to the world -- that UB is a top-notch institution. And, especially in this case, what's good for UB will be good for Buffalo.

The two-year effort was led by Lewis Mandell, dean of the UB School of Management, who credits the support of nearly everyone on campus with making it work. "If everyone in Buffalo had that same attitude, that we're all working toward the same end, that we're all better off if the city prospers . . . I think if we had that attitude, I think everything would be moving along a lot better," Mandell said.

Maybe not as high-tech, but just as highly regarded, is a $50,000 study funded by the city to find out what it'll take to create a proposed medical corridor. Mayor Anthony M. Masiello wants to see everyone involved in this, as well they should be. Thomas R. Beecher, former chairman of Kaleida Health, will head the effort. The target audience is just as wide-ranging as UB's Web-based degree program.

The goal is a district that will flourish within city neighborhoods. But the expertise within the medical corridor will potentially attract patients from all over the globe, paying dividends to Buffalo.

The stakeholders -- Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo Medical Group, the University at Buffalo and Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute -- are expected to provide the initial financing, which probably won't exceed $180,000. It'll be well worth the investment.

The Michigan Street Preservation Corp. should be applauded for its efforts to preserve the Michigan Street Baptist Church as a museum and research center. It should draw tourists interested in the history of the church, which was the birthplace of the Niagara Movement, forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Buffalo has a great deal to offer, from a high-tech, high-quality education to expert medical care that will be made available in its own city neighborhoods. It just takes good planning to get these projects off the ground.

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