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.

Foreclosure in the City of Worcester

The Research Bureau is pleased to present its latest report Foreclosure in the City of Worcester. This report explores Worcester’s recent experience with foreclosures and offers insights into the process. Foreclosure is a necessary part of a real estate market. Yet efforts must be made to limit its impact on households and neighborhoods alike.

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Bureau Brief – Urban Design

A well-designed city, or district within a city, draws residents and visitors into public spaces, building community and supporting businesses and economic development. Many cities recognize the value of good design, but their degree of commitment and capacity for planning and regulation, as well as the level of community concern and participation, vary greatly.

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Bureau Brief — Tax Increment Financing

In Massachusetts, municipalities have limited tools to entice businesses to locate and expand in a weak marketplace. The most frequently used alternative is the Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) and its tax increment financing (TIF) initiative.

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Parking in Worcester: Left by the Curb

With over 5,000 public parking spaces in Downtown Worcester, parking – and its location, condition, design, and cost – is an important concern of municipal government. Parking in Worcester: Left by the Curb urges the City to elevate the discussion of parking by creating a Parking Division that reports directly to the Commissioner of Public Works & Parks.

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Bureau Brief—Talent Retention 2016

The City of Worcester and the surrounding communities are home to 12 colleges and over 30,000 college students, giving Greater Worcester a built-in advantage in attracting and retaining a highly talented and educated workforce—a necessary component of successful economic development.

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Bureau Brief—Worcester Regional Airport (ORH)

Worcester Regional Airport, airport code ORH, was founded in 1946 as a municipal airport. Over the years it has enjoyed periods of great success, peaking at 354,000 passenger enplanements in 1989, and periods of quiescence with the departure of major national airlines in the late 1990s.

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Bureau Brief—Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Act—Chapter 40B

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40B was adopted in 1969 as part of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Act to encourage and facilitate the building of affordable, long term housing for low-income individuals and families across the Commonwealth and to ensure that low-income residents can remain in their localities if housing costs increase.

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Bureau Brief — Park Conservancies

The City of Worcester is home to a significant number of public parklands, but available funding has not kept pace with park expansion and needed maintenance. This brief reviews the potential of park conservancies – private non-profit entities that assume management and maintenance of public parklands – to improve Worcester’s signature parks and create new opportunities for public engagement.

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Don’t Boo. Just Remember to Vote.

While citizen participation is the basis for a strong democracy, key indicators illustrate a troubling trend for civic engagement in the City of Worcester. Low voter turnout, limited competition for local elected offices, and lackluster interest in serving on local boards and commissions indicate a disconnect between residents and local government. At Worcester Technical High School’s June 2014 Commencement Exercises President Barack Obama challenged the crowd with “Don’t Boo. Just Remember to Vote.”

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