As a graduate student at the University at Buffalo, Darren founded The Tool Library, a community-based tool lending library, in response to his experience renting from an absentee landlord. Darren Cotton has over a decade of experience in the fields of community development, urban planning, and information design. Working as Director of Community Development & Planning at the University District Community Development Association (UDCDA), Darren was responsible for writing and administering over $2 million in grant funding focused on commercial corridor revitalization, small business development, alternative transportation planning, historic preservation, public art, and community capacity building in Buffalo's University District. Prior to this, Darren served as an Associate Planner at the University at Buffalo Regional Institute working on a regional sustainability initiative, the remediation of industrial brownfields, and a form-based overhaul of Buffalo's zoning code. With a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies and Linguistics and a Master's Degree in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo, Darren works to bridge the gap between research and policy through planning, design, and grassroots activism and is a strong believer that a small, dedicated group of individuals can change the world.