Economic...

Our reports on community and economic development focus on ways to expand the tax base, increase employment opportunities, and revitalize downtowns and neighborhoods. They suggest ways to improve Worcester and the surrounding region as a place to live, work, and raise a family.

Bureau Brief – English for Speakers of Other Languages

Adults who do not speak English well or at all are a substantial part of the Worcester population, and the classes and organizations that serve them struggle for resources. Making ESOL classes readily available to anyone is important for a number of unquantifiable reasons, but also for measurable economic reasons, making the issue a priority for further research and additional resources.

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A Top Shelf Liquor License Policy

Many of Massachusetts’ thriving commercial corridors were built on rivers of liquor. Bars and restaurants can turn a neighborhood into a destination for any combination of nightlife, fine dining, culture or tourism.

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Broadening Broadband

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced community leaders, in Worcester and across the country, to look at existing systems in new ways – education, retail businesses, telecommuting and other mainstays have been reevaluated in the face of social distancing and quarantines. One system at the heart of many ongoing and proposed changes is internet service.

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Downtown Office Occupancy Report

Of all the factors that influence the business climate in Worcester’s Central Business District (CBD), the office space market is one of the most basic, but also one of the most important. The physical locations available are critical both in attracting and retaining employers, and in measuring the health of the CBD.

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Bureau Brief — Walkability

Walkability has numerous benefits, but how walkable an area is can be hard to quantify—while people have good intuitions about whether their neighborhood lends itself well to casual strolls, or how many destinations are easily reachable on foot, it can be harder to put those thoughts and feelings into a context that could inform public policy.

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The Implications of a Fare-Free WRTA

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA), like many bus systems, suffers from low and declining ridership. There is research and evidence from other cities that going fare-free – not merely lowering fares, but eliminating them entirely – is perhaps the most effective ridership-boosting tool available to bus systems.

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Bureau Brief: Worcester Housing Authority

The Worcester Housing Authority (WHA) has been providing affordable housing options to Worcester residents since 1949. Federal guidelines recommend that households spend no more than 30 percent of income on rental or mortgage payments.

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