Ben Forman Research Director, MassINC

Benjamin Forman is MassINC’s research director. He coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. Ben has authored a number of MassINC publications and he speaks frequently to organizations and media across Massachusetts. With a background in urban revitalization and sustainable growth and development, he is uniquely suited to the organization’s focus on strong communities and economic security.

Prior to joining MassINC in 2008, Ben oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, a large agency providing critical services to youth and families in neighborhoods throughout the city. He also worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, DC and Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm.

As a graduate student, Ben was awarded a Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship and served in the City of New Bedford’s planning department. He also worked as a graduate research assistant on a multi-year longitudinal analysis measuring the impact of new information technologies on neighborhood social networks.

Ben graduated from Trinity College, Hartford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 2004, he completed his master’s degree in city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Boston with his wife Anne and two daughters, Eloise and Cecily.

ARTICLES By Ben Forman

Will Recent Homebuying Trends Intensify Racial Wealth Gaps?

Data show Black and Latino residents increasingly purchasing in unstable Gateway City neighborhoods

This research brief documents changing homebuying trends by race and ethnicity using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) lending data and a neighborhood conditions index constructed with Census figures. Findings build on previous MassINC research, which documented the need for state-level policy to provide Gateway Cities with resources and assistance carrying out comprehensive neighborhood stabilization activities.

Community college is key to rethinking higher-ed

With coronavirus drawing attention to widespread socioeconomic disparities, many are calling for renewed effort to combat inequality. From near universal health care to paid family leave, Massachusetts is already a leading state when it comes to progressive policies. But pubic higher education—perhaps the strongest economic leveler—stands out as an area where Massachusetts trails. So many

From Transactional to Transformative: The Case for Equity in Gateway City Transit-Oriented Development

Transformative Transit-Oriented Development recognizes that equity is the key to transforming cities and towns in Massachusetts, and the country. In Massachusetts, a decades long economic boom has not always reached Gateway Cities, yielding uneven growth and investment that have deepened inequities across places, races, classes and cultures. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified these disparities. To

MassForward

Advancing Democratic Innovation and Electoral Reform in Massachusetts

Produced in partnership with the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, this report argues Massachusetts will need the varied experience, expertise, and service of its diverse population in order to tackle the numerous and increasingly complex challenges that the future promises to hold. The analysis reveals four major structural forces that inhibit many

Drafting an Action Plan for Early College Expansion

Building on the June 2019 MassINC report exploring the promise of Early College High Schools, this discussion paper examines strategies to sustainably finance these programs. The analysis describes the additional costs associated with delivering the model with fidelity, and looks at how leading Early College states invest funds to help school districts and their college

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