Oct 17, 2012
Worcester Telegram & Gazette – Worcester, Fitchburg get Gateway Cities designation
Independent think tank MassINC today announced the creation of the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, a Boston-based institute dedicated to revitalizing former manufacturing centers that it terms Gateway Cities.
The 11 cities the institute will focus on are Worcester, Fitchburg, Brockton, Fall River, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Pittsfield and Springfield. (The Legislature classifies 24 cities as Gateway cities, and that list includes Leominster.)
Oct 17, 2012
A lot of state investment goes into Boston, but a new political force called the Gateway Cities Innovation Institute will make sure the rest of the state is given due attention. At an official launching celebration at the State House Wednesday, the new center stated its goal of revitalizing a network of 24 midsize cities across the state, including Springfield, Pittsfield, Holyoke and Chicopee.
Oct 17, 2012
The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, a new entity that will use research, polling and policy development for the purpose of revitalizing former manufacturing centers in the state, will be officially launched at the Statehouse at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
The institute was formed by MassINC, an independent think tank that publishes Commonwealth magazine, along with sponsors, members, fellows and public officials.
Oct 13, 2012
The push by Gateway Cities to gain statewide clout is becoming institutionalized — literally — with the launch of a new policy institute.
Mass Inc., the think tank that first coined the “Gateway Cities” term in 2007 with a policy paper calling on the state to reinvest in its depressed industrialized urban centers, will launch the new Gateway Cities Innovation Institute on Wednesday with a reception that is already at capacity.
“We planned it as a low-key event but there’s been an incredible amount of buzz,” said Benjamin Forman, the new executive director of the institute, who said about 150 people have signed up for the 2 p.m. Statehouse reception so far.
Aug 22, 2012
A report by the independent think tank MassINC and the national creative economic group ArtPlace recommends investment in the arts as a means of economic revitalization for the state’s 11 Gateway Cities.
Fitchburg is one of the communities designated a Gateway City.
Apr 30, 2012
During a forum at UMass Lowell on April 11, Massachusetts’ 24 Gateway Cities, including Lowell, were described as desirable locations for innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and artists. These communities boast distinctive assets, including educational and medical institutions and historic buildings.
Apr 12, 2012
Yesterday, city and cultural leaders from many of the state’s 24 Gateway Cities, including Lowell, Fitchburg, Worcester, Holyoke and New Bedford, gathered at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center to discuss “Creative Placemaking,” using arts and culture as catalysts for economic development and community revitalization.
“Gateway cities drive regional economies,” said Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, adding the state is often Boston-centric and by funding economic development, infrastructure, housing and education programs that specifically target the Gateway Cities, the administration is “leveling the playing field.”
Jan 27, 2012
The Massachusetts Bar Association held a forum at UMass School of Law to identify ways the legal community can help old industrial cities outside Boston that struggle with high rates of unemployment and other social problems.
Panelists described Gateway Cities’ predicament and existing revitalization efforts.
Benjamin Forman, researcher director at MassINC, a think tank that first identified the cities, gave a background presentation, noting the difficulties — a tendency to focus on Boston over other cities — and the opportunities in the smaller cities — existing infrastructure and under-utilized labor force.
Dec 9, 2011
A house is so much more than four strong walls and a roof. So often, it’s what’s inside that counts. So it is with the vision of cities being cultivated by think tank MassINC which has been working since 2007 with 11 older industrial cities – including Springfield, Holyoke and New Bedford – to help reinvent themselves to compete in the 21st century.
But like the homebuilder that looks inside the sturdy walls, MassINC is also looking at the arts to provide the spark that will make revived cities sing.
Dec 5, 2011
The results from a recent poll taken by the MassINC research group shows overwhelming support for using the arts as a catalyst for economic development in the Bay State’s so-called “Gateway Cities,” such as New Bedford, Lawrence and Brockton.
The survey was given in October to 600 registered voters in the 11 Gateway Cities. Eight in 10 voters said that they supported government funding for arts events and activities. The results were released on Dec. 1.
John Schneider, executive vice president of MassINC, said he was surprised at how favorably voters viewed arts and culture as an economic development activity.
Sep 15, 2011
Boston-based public policy institute MassInc has received a $125,000 grant to explore arts-based growth strategies for Massachusetts’ so-called “gateway cities,” like Lawrence, Fall River and Springfield.John Schneider is the Executive Vice-President of MassInc. He says bringing the arts into these cities can improve the quality of life in their communities.
Jun 19, 2011
Last month marked the third anniversary of a compact signed by leaders of the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities.
“Built on a commonality of interests,” this historic agreement united New Bedford with 10 sister Massachusetts mill cities working to reposition their economies to compete in a new era.
Feb 7, 2011
Gov. Deval Patrick addressed a gathering of mayors, educators and other officials Friday, Feb. 4 at the Gateway Cities Education Summit in Worcester, an event focusing on improving school services to the state’s mid-sized industrial cities, including Brockton.
Patrick said Massachusetts leads the nation in a variety of categories, including student achievement, health care coverage, clean energy initiatives and veterans services.
Feb 5, 2011
Lawrence Eagle Tribune
Gov. Deval Patrick pledged yesterday to work directly with Lawrence, Haverhill, Methuen and other “gateway” cities to improve schools in those towns.
Patrick addressed a gathering of town and school leaders from the state’s so-called gateway cities — former mill and factory towns — at a MassINC-sponsored conference in Worcester.
Jan 26, 2011
Union-News and Sunday Republican
A survey of registered voters in struggling mill cities shows nearly half give their city schools a grade of B or above, despite high dropout rates and low test scores.
The Boston think-tank MassINC, surveyed 400 registered voters spread among the 11 cities to learn their perception of local schools. Gateway cities, which include Springfield and Holyoke, are former manufacturing centers with high poverty rates.
Jan 25, 2011
About half of the voters polled in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities give their community’s public schools a grade of A (12 percent) or B (37 percent); 83 percent give them a C or higher, according to a new poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group.
Just 12 percent gave the schools a D or F. These positive ratings contrast sharply with the overall poor performance of Gateway Cities schools on metrics like reading proficiency and graduation rates.
Dec 12, 2010
In Boston, many middle-class people struggle, even in a soft housing market, to pay the going rate for homes and apartments. In the gateway cities, the problem is precisely the opposite: Affordable housing abounds even in what might seem like prime central locations, and market-rate housing is either dilapidated or lacking altogether.
Dec 5, 2010
As policymakers in Massachusetts have come to grips with the possibilities of “smart growth,’’ an answer has emerged: By beefing up the MBTA commuter rail system, Massachusetts could spur the transformation of old factory buildings near train stations in mill cities into complexes that mix residential and commercial uses, while taking pressure off the state’s ever-diminishing amount of open space. In this spirit, Governor Patrick has vowed to start work on the long-planned commuter rail line to Fall River and New Bedford.
Nov 29, 2010
Built to be important places in the world, cities like New Bedford, Brockton, and Haverhill are now struggling to make their presence felt in a state that caters far more to its capital and suburbs. Thanks in part to state housing policies, many of the gateway cities lack any hint of an upscale neighborhood. They serve instead as clearinghouses for the Commonwealth’s neediest — people evicted from Boston, priced out of the suburbs, unable to find services in rural areas.
Jul 9, 2010
BOSTON — Cities like Lowell that were once the economic engines of the state are now getting renewed attention as lawmakers look to revive these once-vibrant communities.
A package of reforms aimed at spurring economic development across the state includes several provisions targeted specifically at the “Gateway Cities.”
The House yesterday approved the economic-development package that originated in the Senate, tacking Gateway Cities initiatives onto the bill. The legislation will now go to conference committee in hopes of getting a final package approved before the end of the month.
Jul 5, 2010
Legislation offering financial incentives for residential and commerical development in so-called Gateway Cities, such as Fitchburg and Leominster, is scheduled for debate this week on Beacon Hill.
The original legislation was rolled into the House of Representatives’s economic-development bill to be considered Wednesday.
Apr 14, 2010
Boston Business Journal
Brockton is among the state’s so-called “gateway” cities where residents are more likely to use high-cost financial services such as hock shops and check-cashers rather than traditional banks, the Enterprise reports, citing a study by MassINC.
Oct 19, 2008
Earlier this month, a historic gathering of state and local officials in Fall River showcased an issue that could affect the state’s economy for generations to come. Urban economic renewal in “Gateway” communities like Springfield was the topic of the first-ever “Gateways Cities Conference” – an impressive assembly of people and perspectives from throughout the state who came together to understand how to prime the economies of urban areas outside of Greater Boston.
Jun 29, 2008
LOWELL – John Schneider spent his summers growing up playing pickup baseball in the Pittsfield city parks and evenings at the minor league baseball stadium watching future stars of the game. He remembers “a terrific mix of blue-and white-collar” families, who like his father depended on General Electric for employment. “It was a time when Pittsfield was really at its peak,” Schneider said, recalling a prosperous downturn and vibrant civic community.
May 19, 2008
Springfield was represented at an event today in Boston, at the Old State House (pictured) and hosted by MassINC, signaling a new allegiance of cities across the state. At the gathering, also attended by Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, 11 municipal representatives in Massachusetts signed a Gateway Cities Compact (see below). The agreement is said to provide a foundation to “redefine economic development” in the state with a greater emphasis on urban population centers.
Feb 27, 2007
Massachusetts has to save itself because no federal cavalry is coming to the rescue.
Political, business and civic leaders can start by reading a new report issued jointly by MassINC and the Brookings Institution, both non-partisan think tanks devoted to public policy research.
The study, Reconnecting Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities: Lessons Learned and an Agenda for Renewal, points out the economic imbalances created by de-industrialization and the changeover to a new knowledge-based economy.
Feb 26, 2007
Brockton’s economy still suffers from the loss of textile and shoe factories and the jobs they held, but a statewide report released today indicates the shoe city is moving forward.
That is the conclusion of a report released by the public policy organizations MassINC and the Brookings Institution.
The city’s proximity to Boston, the commuter rail line and the transformation of old mills into affordable condominiums are cited as positive factors as the city continues to struggle with the loss of more than half of its manufacturing jobs from 1960 to 2000.