Going for Growth

Promoting Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts Gateway Cities

This policy brief explores opportunities to leverage the energy immigrant-owned businesses bring to Gateway Cities as an economic development strategy. Immigrant-owned shops are already revitalizing downtowns in Gateway Cities across the state. These small storefront businesses could become launching pads to larger enterprises, providing an even greater contribution to local and regional economic development. But read more
Developed collaboratively with Gateway City mayors, managers, and education leaders, this vision highlights effective new models to prepare students for the changing economy and ensure an adequate supply of skilled workers for growing regional economies across the Commonwealth. The Vision also calls for strategies that leverage the educational assets of our urban centers so that read more

Reinventing Transit

A Blueprint for Investing in Regional Transportation Authorities for Strong Gateway City Economies

Transportation networks provide the backbone for economic development in regions across the state. Public transit is an important component of these networks, increasing access to jobs, housing, and services. Leaders on Beacon Hill are considering transportation investments with the potential to shape the Commonwealth’s physical and economic landscape for generations to come. State funding for read more

Transformative Redevelopment

Strategic State Policy for Gateway City Growth and Renewal

Transformative redevelopment describes public and private financial support for projects that catalyze signifi­cant follow-on private investment, leading over time to the transformation of an entire downtown or urban neighbor­hood. This approach seeks to repair weak real estate mar­kets where development costs outweigh returns, creating a gap that impedes the flow of private investment; it contrasts read more

Building Vibrancy

Creative Placemaking Strategies for Gateway City Growth and Renewal

The struggle Gateway Cities have endured in recent years obscures their untapped potential in an economy that increasingly puts a premium on attractive, authentic, and livable communities. This has not been lost on a new generation of artists and cultural entrepreneurs, who are finding inspired ways to reinvent our Gateway Cities through creative placemaking. At read more

Creative Places

Public Perceptions of Arts, Culture, and Economic Development in Gateway Cities

This poll was commissioned by MassINC as part of a newly-funded initiative to create a leadership network around the role of the arts in the economic revitalization of Gateway Cities, a strategy the National Endowment for the Arts calls “creative placemaking.” The survey, given to 600 registered voters among the eleven Gateway Cities, informs that read more
Going for Growth: New Education-Housing Partnerships to Stabilize Families and Boost Student Achievement, the fourth brief in a series exploring policy innovations to spur reinvestment and renewal in the state’s key regional cities. Extensive research documents the negative consequences that student mobility – the churn of youth entering and exiting classrooms during the school year read more

Going for Growth

Promoting Access to Wealth Building Financial Services in Massachusetts Gateway Cities

This paper examines the market for personal financial services and finds that many Gateway City residents do not have bank accounts, which leaves them dependent on high-cost services like check cashers. Without bank accounts, families have difficulty developing the credit history needed to qualify for low-interest loans. They turn instead to pawnshops, rent-to-own stores, and read more

Going for Growth

Promoting Residential Reinvestment in Massachusetts Gateway Cities

Promoting Residential Reinvestment in Massachusetts Gateway Cities, the second brief in a series exploring evidence-based policy innovations to spur reinvestment and renewal in the state’s key regional cities. This paper examines state housing spending over the last 15 years and finds that programs designed primarily to increase affordability in strong markets have not been able read more

Building for the Future

Foundations for a Springfield Comprehensive Growth Strategy

Springfield has enormous assets, but like other midsize cities throughout the Northeast and Midwest, it struggles to get past decades of disinvestment brought on by manufacturing decline and residential disinvestment. To rebuild and reposition for the knowledge economy, communities like Springfield need long-term strategies – plans that address challenges and leverage opportunities by channeling resources read more

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