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

Unveiling Gateway City Neighborhood Stabilization Bill

Show Your Support

Last week the Gateway Cities Legislative Caucus filed an omnibus bill to provide communities with more powerful tools to address blighted and abandoned property and stabilize distressed neighborhoods across the Commonwealth. This legislation includes all of the major tools described in a neighborhood stabilization policy blueprint that we developed collaboratively with Gateway City housing leaders over the

State and Local Blueprints for Comprehensive Neighborhood Stabilization

New report calls attention to Massachusetts’ “other housing problem.”

In recent years, much attention has been trained on Greater Boston’s tight housing market and the increasingly severe difficulty residents have finding affordable housing in the region. There is much less awareness of the very different challenge faced by residents of weak market neighborhoods, where housing is much less expensive but conditions are physically, socially,

Building Communities of Promise and Possibility

State and Local Blueprints for Comprehensive Neighborhood Stabilization

In recent years, much attention has been trained on Greater Boston’s tight housing market and the increasingly severe difficulty residents have finding affordable housing in the region. There is much less awareness of the very different challenge faced by residents of weak market neighborhoods, where housing is much less expensive but conditions are physically, socially,

Local Accountability

The Forgotten Element in Education Reform

Prepared in partnership with the Center for Assessment, this novel paper is a first attempt to define the purpose and principles of “local accountability” practices that complement state and federal accountability frameworks. The conceptual frame in a series of three reports, The Forgotten Element in Education Reform explores the shifting balance of responsibility for monitoring

Please Support Gateway City Legislative Leaders

Your advocacy can make a difference

Dear Friends: In the final days of this Legislative session, two items hang in the balance that have great importance to Gateway City economic development efforts. The first is the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP). After years of advocacy by Gateway Cities mayors, this market-rate housing production tool is finally doing exactly what it was

Revisiting Correctional Expenditure Trends in Massachusetts

MassINC is proud to present another installment in our “Justice Reinvestment At-A-Glance” research brief series. Revisiting Correctional Expenditure Trends in Massachusetts updates our 2017 report, Getting Tough on Spending. Our new analysis incorporates final expenditures through FY 2017, and projects outward using the House and Senate Ways and Means FY 2019 budget proposals. We hope

The Promise and Potential of Transformative Transit-Oriented Development in Gateway Cities

Gateway Cities can accommodate thousands of new housing units and thousands of new jobs on the vacant and underutilized land surrounding their commuter rail stations. This walkable, mixed-use urban land offers an ideal setting for transit-oriented development (TOD) to take hold. Currently, Gateway City commuter rail stations get minimal ridership from downtown neighborhoods and few

Generating more geographically-balanced growth

Connecting Gateway Cities with Boston’s Job Cluster

Gateway Cities like Brockton, Lynn, and Worcester can play an important function generating more geographically-balanced growth throughout Massachusetts. These communities all have strong transit connections to Boston, which positions them to tap the hub’s valuable assets, including its major research institutions, sophisticated service providers, skilled-workforce, and global connections. As regional centers, the economic activity they

Improving College & Career Outcomes through Research-Practice Partnerships

A Case Study of ILP Implementation in Three Gateway City School Districts

Public schools are under pressure to close wide opportunity and achievement gaps so that disadvantaged students can compete for jobs in today’s knowledge economy on an equal footing. While the resources to accomplish this important work are often limited, advances in education technology, data availability, and research methods can help schools get more learning out

Our sponsors