INCSpot

Gateway Cities

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Stacked up against Governor Patrick’s budget proposal, the FY 15 House budget reduces funding for key Gateway City education initiatives. Governor Patrick’s budget request increased investment in line items related to the Gateway Cities Vision by nearly $40 million; in contrast, the House budget increases funding in these areas by $26 million.
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Friday, April 11, 2014
Boston-based Jobs for the Future will help the city build new pathways to college & career
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Thursday, April 10, 2014
The Gateway Cities Vision emphasizes the importance of early education and social and emotional growth in improving the learning conditions in the Gateway Cities. One way to approach this is through Parent-Child Home Programs (PCHPs), which use biweekly home visits to help develop parent-child relationships, language acquisition, and social and emotional experience. Currently there are 32 PCHPs in place across the Commonwealth, 14 of which serve Gateway Cities. Overall, PCHPs served 900 families across the Commonwealth in 2012-2013.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014
New role will focus on economic development in Gateway Cities

The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute at MassINC is excited that MassDevelopment has hired Anne Gatling Haynes as Director of Transformative Development. This appointment is sign of further momentum around House Bill 311, An Act to Promote Transformative Development in Gateway Cities, which is currently being considered by the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.
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Friday, April 4, 2014

The six winning teams from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge gathered in Fitchburg last week for a brainstorming session. Each team—from Fitchburg, Lawrence, Salem, Holyoke, Chelsea and Somerville—was awarded a grant from the Fed in January to fund their proposals to innovate government services in sectors from adult education to workforce development among youth. We got to sit in on the day-long session, which gave project leaders from each community a chance to share ideas and strategy.
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Friday, March 21, 2014
Providing high school students with early college experiences is increasingly looked upon as an effective approach for creating stronger college and career pathways, a central focal point in the Gateway Cities Vision. Most early college designs rely on dual enrollment, which allows students to take college-level courses and earn credit toward both high school and post-secondary degrees. In many states, dual enrollments are rising as efforts are made to help better prepare disadvantaged students for college (and middle class families look to reduce the cost of higher education). Massachusetts can learn from other states that have worked creatively to give more students quality dual enrollment experiences.
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Friday, March 21, 2014
Legislation would spur private investment in Gateway Cities
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Thursday, March 6, 2014
The Gateway Cities Vision for Dynamic Community-Wide Learning Systems
BEFORE THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS FISCAL YEAR 2015 EDUCTATION BUDGET HEARING
February 25, 2014

Transcript of Remarks:

Chair Candaras, Chair Kulik, and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to share testimony this morning on strategies for investing in education in FY 2015.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our latest report, “Going for Growth: Promoting Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts Gateway Cities” explores creative new models to support the development of ethnic business districts. Efforts to support immigrant entrepreneurs are gaining momentum.
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Friday, January 31, 2014

On average, Gateway City graduation rates rose by 1.1 percentage points to 75.3 percent of students in 2013. Dropout rates fell by 1 percentage point to 11.8 percent of students. Slightly more students remained still in school after four years and fewer were expelled.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
In July of 2010, the legislature authorized the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) to spur the creation of market-rate housing in Gateway Cities. Regulations were issued in July 2012. Pittsfield quickly established a zone as required under by the legislation. One after another, other Gateway Cities followed (Chelsea, Holyoke, Springfield, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, and Lowell). Despite enthusiasm for the program, developers and municipal officials have raised concerns that the HDIP’s cumbersome structure limits its power as a redevelopment tool.
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Earlier this week the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announced the winners of its Working Cities Challenge, a groundbreaking effort to support cross-sector collaboration in the state’s small to midsize Gateway Cities. The Challenge put a spotlight on the fundamental role these communities play in providing access to economic opportunity for Bay State families fighting hard to make it into the middle-class. For political leaders crafting a narrative for 2014 races, the competition offers three important lessons:
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Treasurer Grossman’s campaign released a plan for investing in career/vocational technical education last week. The plan hit upon a fundamental theme in the Gateway Cities Vision for Dynamic Community Learning Systems. “Dynamic” is included in the title of this education agenda — which Gateway City leaders built working collaboratively over the better part of 2013 — to highlight the fundamental need for learning systems that can respond more rapidly to the needs of employers in a changing economy.
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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Transcript of Remarks:

Thank you Chairman Wagner and Chairwoman Candaras for this opportunity to share our ideas for strengthening the Commonwealth’s economy.
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Champions of older cities long ago criticized suburbs (or, worse, exurbs) on aesthetic grounds. Then they pointed out the environmental damage of sprawl. Now comes data suggesting that the dispersal of homes and jobs from urban areas is bad economics.
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Friday, June 28, 2013
Thanks to a reversal by the City Council, New Bedford will not have to close elementary schools and eliminate its school athletics program, but it will still have to cut 200 jobs, reports Natalie Sherman of the Standard-Times (story behind paywall).
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
A new plan to develop the Lyman Terrace public housing complex in downtown Holyoke could spur revitalization, according to a new report prepared by Utile with support from MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. The report, created through a joint partnership between the Holyoke Housing Authority (HHA), the City of Holyoke, the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP), and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, uses the language of transformative redevelopment, a term coined in a MassINC report , to finance and support the project.
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Monday, June 24, 2013
New population estimates released last month showed that several major cities on the East Coast, including Boston, are in a period of renewed growth — while mid-sized urban areas, including most of the Gateway Cities in Massachusetts, are growing at a slower pace and have a more uncertain economic future. The situation is bleaker in the so-called Legacy Cities of the nation’s Rust Belt, some of which have no hope of ever being as populous as they were 60 years ago.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Ben Forman delivered an opening address on the concept of Transformative Redevelopment at a MassDevelopment event on Wednesday. The daylong forum, billed as “Lessons in Transformative Economic Development,” brought together leaders from several Gateway Cities, including Fitchburg, Leominster, and Worcester. The transformative redevelopment discussion continued Wednesday afternoon at the State House before the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures, and State Assets. Ben provided testimony on strategically coordinating state capital investment.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The fate of The Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI), a violence prevention strategy focused on young men between the ages of 14 and 24 who are at risk of being victims or perpetrators of violence,  now lies with the conference committee reconciling the House and Senate budgets. While the Senate Budget proposal included $4 million for the initiative, SSYI received no funding under the House Plan. Last year SSYI received $10 million.
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
INCSpot will be providing updates as Gateway Cities go through the process of approving school budgets for the next fiscal year. Our first post was last week; here are some other recent developments that illustrate the challenges of funding schools during a time of escalating costs and revenue uncertainties.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

INCSpot will be providing updates as Gateway Cities go through the process of approving school budgets for the next fiscal year. Here are some recent developments that illustrate the challenges of funding schools during a time of escalating costs and revenue uncertainties.

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Monday, June 3, 2013
NPR reports on a backlash against suspending high-school students and possibly putting them “on the fast track to falling behind, dropping out, and going to jail.” Opponents cite a study released in April, which highlighted the Worcester school district, that suggests the disciplinary measure is disproportionately used against “children of color and students from other historically disadvantaged groups.”
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
With the sole exception of New Bedford, every large or mid-sized city in Massachusetts grew at least slightly from 2010 to 2012, according to new population estimates of cities with at least 50,000 people released last week. But none added people as quickly as Boston. The Census Bureau estimates that the Hub rose by 3.1 percent from its official 2010 count to hit 636,479 people. It further estimates that cities near Boston grew faster than those in other parts of the state.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Bedford mayor Jon Mitchell this week announced a “Side Yard Program,” encouraging homeowners to put city-owned vacant lots to good use — an initiative that has proven successful in cities such as Pittsburgh. The New Bedford program will allow residents to buy vacant lots that abut their properties at discounted costs.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

To a striking degree, conventional wisdom holds that the future belongs to large, agglomerating cities with “thick labor markets” that support high-tech innovation. It is an article of faith advanced by influential urban economists Richard Florida and Edward Glaeser, who call for nurturing the “megaregions” that have emerged victorious from post-1970s global market restructuring. Labor economist Enrico Moretti has taken the argument to almost comical extremes. “Three Americas” are taking shape along urban-geographical lines, he argues, that are (supposedly) fast replacing older forms of inequality based on class and race: “Brain Hubs” that attract the college-educated,  deteriorating former manufacturing centers, and cities that could go either way—toward brain hubbery or into oblivion.

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Friday, May 17, 2013
One way to strengthen Gateway Cities is to help families build assets that provide long-term economic stability. In Massachusetts, the Midas Collaborative provides financial education to low-income families and also operates matching-fund programs to encourage long-range saving. As Governing magazine reports, the city of San Francisco is going further by making financial skills part of its kindergarten curriculum.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Artists can play a major role in transformative redevelopment because they see space through a different lens, imagining authentic new uses for buildings that increase neighborhood vitality, and draw new investment to abutting properties.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Artists can play a major role in transformative redevelopment because they see space through a different lens, imagining authentic new uses for buildings that increase neighborhood vitality, and draw new investment to abutting properties.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Advocates for zoning reform in Massachusetts voiced support for new legislation (H. 1859) at a hearing on Tuesday. The bill, which would create more flexible zoning laws throughout the state, was filed by Senator Daniel Wolf and Representative Stephen Kulik. It has won support from the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and the City Solicitors and Town Counsel Association.
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Massachusetts is not the only state seeking to realize the potential of its older industrial cities. In New York, the favored term is “Legacy Cities,” but ongoing efforts to revitalize upstate urban areas such as Syracuse and Rochester share many strategies and goals with the Bay State’s Gateway Cities initiative. It may be instructive to compare strategies and outcomes in the two states, and INCspot will be following the Legacy Cities initiative in the coming months.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office recently launched a grant program that aims to help communities with high levels of distressed and vacant properties revitalize properties for residential use. The grant, called the "Distressed Properties Identification and Revitalization Grant" will accept applications from Gateway Cities and other municipalties that have high rates of distressed properties.
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Monday, May 13, 2013
The Federal Reserve Bank has released the letters of intent from applicants for a grant of up to $700,000 for an anti-poverty program in Massachusetts. The Working Cities Challenge (see previous post) is open to cities smaller than Boston with a higher-than-median poverty rate.
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
An extension of the Brownfields Tax Credit program through 2018 — a component of transformative redevelopment in Gateway Cities — will be taken up in the state Senate this month, after being included in the House’s fiscal 2014 budget recommendations. The value of such a program was affirmed last week by a report from the Greater Ohio Policy Center.
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Monday, May 6, 2013
After holding ground in the House, advocates of the Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative are urging the Senate to increase funding for the program, which currently provides aid to 19 schools that offer more classroom time for students. (See grant recipients here; some 90 schools statewide have some kind of program with additional school hours.)
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Friday, May 3, 2013
The competition phase of the Working Cities Challenge, which will award up to $700,00 to an anti-poverty program in Massachusetts, will be announced this morning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a lead partner in the initiative. Twenty cities, all smaller than Boston and with a higher-than-median poverty rate, are eligible for the grant, but only one proposal per city will be accepted. Each proposal must be a partnership among public agencies and other stakeholders in the community, making it an example of “collaborative leadership.”
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Monday, April 29, 2013
Letter from MassINC and Transportation for Massachusetts capping off a series of recent forums on regional transit held in Gateway Cities across the state.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
New Bedford’s Custom House Square Park will be a “lush green outdoor living room for the city,” one of its designers told South Coast Today, whose Auditi Guhta reported (behind paywall) on the groundbreaking ceremony for the project earlier this month.
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
A key resource for Gateway City revitalization efforts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, would be significantly weakened by the state budget proposal released last week by the House Committee on Ways and Means. The MCC reports that the House budget allocates only $8.1 million for the agency during the next fiscal year:
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has recently announced a new initiative  that will support cross-sector collaboration among small cities, including the Gateway Cities. The program, called "The Working Cities Challenge," aims to create stronger partnerships between key institutions, agencies, organizations, and businesses in these cities to improve the quality of life, especially for low income people.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Governor Patrick’s The Way Forward plan provides an infusion of funds for Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) serving Gateway Cities, including $100 million annually for enhanced service and $400 million in capital funds to purchase new buses and modernize facilities. If state leaders are able to support RTAs at this level, it could radically change the way these systems contribute to economic growth in Gateway City economies, particularly with regard to the transformative redevelopment concept MassINC recently unveiled.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
MASSCreative, the new organization formed to advocate on behalf of funding for the arts in Massachusetts, isn't wasting any time. Fresh off an inaugural tour of the state, they've started to lobby hard for an increase in the Massachusetts Cultural Council budget (a key resource for Gateway City creative placemaking efforts as detailed in our recent report). Follow this link to sign their online petition.
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Thursday, November 29, 2012
A new report by the Massachusetts Community Banking Council provides insight into the small business loans originated in Gateway Cities from 2007 to 2011. The MCBC defines small business loans as $1 million or less.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The Urban Initiative at UMass Dartmouth recently launched the SouthCoast Urban Indicators Project. The project takes a look at how well the SouthCoast region is doing on measures of health care, education, the economy, civic vitality, and safety. We are particularly interested in seeing how the project will track civic vitality in the future and see it as a model for developing benchmarks and inciting discussion around policy issues in other Gateway City regions. Check it out to see how the SouthCoast region is faring and provide your feedback as it continues to evolve.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Four major Gateway City projects were recently funded by the MassWorks Infrastructure Program:
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Friday, November 2, 2012
Commissioner Freeland recently presented the first  Vision Project report, an initiative focused on making Massachusetts a national leader in public education. The report looks at how public higher education in Massachusetts stacks up to other states and lays out specific strategies and goals to boost our performance. Interestingly, Gateway Cities are pioneering many of the strategies highlighted in the report.  Here’s a breakdown following the Vision Project’s five high-level outcomes:
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Monday, August 27, 2012
Earlier this month, Governor Deval Patrick signed a $1.5 billion transportation bond bill that directs federal and state funds to various road, bridge, rail, and regional transit projects in the state, including several Gateway City placemaking projects.
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gateway Cities are home to nearly 2 million residents, which gives them substantial representation on Beacon Hill. However, the drawing of legislative districts is an important factor in determining how well the Gateway Cities delegation can speak for these voters with a unified voice. Legislators that represent both Gateway Cities and suburban communities may have constituencies with vastly different needs.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Downtown revitalization efforts are getting a boost in the Jobs Bill passed last month by the Legislature. The law seeks to increase infrastructure investment, facilitate growth of new and existing businesses, and streamline the permitting process.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

MassINC recently hosted a webinar exploring strategies to advance creative placemaking policy in Massachusetts. You can view the webinar, which features MassINC Research Director Ben Forman, Mayor Morse of Holyoke, and MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson here.

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Friday, July 27, 2012
The Lowell Folk Festival kicks off tonight drawing more than 100,000 visitors into the city. By bringing together diverse groups of residents and showing off Lowell at its best, one weekend at a time, over a number of years, the Folk Festival has slowly added to the city’s vibrancy.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012
A recent report by the Brookings Institution sheds new light on how well public transportation connects jobs to people in Gateway City regions. This research is the mirror image of Brookings  report published last year that looked at how well people are connected to jobs. The picture it portrays of the large mismatch between where public transportation is located and where the jobs are in many Gateway City regions isn’t any prettier.
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Friday, July 13, 2012
There’s been talk about the Wampanoag casino in Taunton providing a big boost for South Coast Rail. While working to ensure that the casino is served by public transit makes sense from both smart growth and public safety standpoints (fewer greenhouse gases, fewer inebriated gamblers driving down Route 24), farebox revenues aren’t going to change the economics of the operation all that much.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Massachusetts legislature is looking at funding for asset building anti-poverty strategies through two separate bills. The House budget provides resources to implement a financial education program aimed at Gateway City students in the k-12 public school system. The Senate budget restores $100,000 in funding for state Individual Development Accounts, which help low-income individuals build savings.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The Patrick Administration announced a new first-of-its-kind state tax credit program this week to encourage market rate housing development in the Gateway Cities.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The cost Gateway City school districts bear transporting homeless students could be passed on to the state if the budget proposed by the House prevails. (While the House budget picks up the $11.3 million that school districts were projected to spend on transportation for homeless students in 2012, the Senate budget does not contain funding for the plan. Gateway City districts account for about one-quarter of this spending.)
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Research Director Ben Forman weighs in on why the Legislature should not expand the list of communities that are defined as Gateway Cities in a CW Voices piece.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012
For economic development spending, the Holy Grail is a program that pays for itself. This can happen when a state outlay generates economic activity leading to increased tax collections. In a recent analysis of the state historic tax credit for the Urban Land Institute, Ted Carmen shows that there’s a good shot that the state’s historic tax credit achieves this difficult feat. His calculations suggest that, for every dollar that the state puts out, it reaps a $1.20 in new tax revenues.
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Monday, May 14, 2012
MassINC is compiling a “bluebook” with Gateway City education trends.
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Friday, May 4, 2012
The House budget released last week substantially scales back the Governor’s modest Gateway Cities Education Agenda. Of the fives areas the administration identified for support, only two received resources.
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Friday, May 4, 2012

A recent report by the Small Business Administration highlights the role of immigrant entrepreneurs in the American economy.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gateway Cities are seeing continued progress in implementing creative placemaking strategies just a few weeks after April’s Gateway Cities summit focused on building buy-in and sharing best practices on the economic development concept.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
BSA’s Placemaking Network – co-chaired by Christina Lanzl (director of MassArt’s Urban Arts Institute) and Robert Tullis (director of design at GID Urban Development) – hosted a lively discussion on how state policy can support development in Gateway Cities that builds and reinforces their authentic urban fabric.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The Gateway Cities caucus got off to a strong start for 2012 with a very well attended presentation from Ted Carmen, representing the Public Private Partnership Committee of the Urban Land Institute. Ted made a powerful argument that the state’s historic tax credit should be recognized first and foremost as contributing to job creation. Citing research that suggests every two units of housing produced above the state’s business as usual level leads to one new job, Carmen demonstrated that the historic tax credit is at least revenue neutral under conservative assumptions.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
The Massachusetts Bar Association kicked off a new Gateway Cities campaign at the University of Massachusetts Law School in Dartmouth last week. The evening event, which featured opening remarks from Gateway Cities Caucus co-chairs Rep. Tony Cabral and Sen. Benjamin Downing, drew a large crowd. Michael Hunter, Undersecretary for Business Development at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development shared reflections on the administration’s current and future Gateway Cities efforts. MassINC also presented to the group, along with several regional organizations.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It’s a new year, and annual census figures for US cities were recently released. MassINC has combed through these numbers to provide a fresh look at the state of the state’s Gateway Cities. This analysis reveals a sharp dichotomy. Gateway Cities are fairing well economically. Most are gaining population and most have recovered the jobs lost in the Great Recession. But as is often the case with cities, residents don’t always do as well economically as the urban economy in their midst.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Last February, Governor Patrick pledged to create a new Gateway Cities education strategy at the MassINC Gateway Cities Education Summit. The Governor made good on his pledge by including $10 million to implement his Gateway Cities education strategy, unveiled in November, in his FY 2013 budget request.
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Friday, September 23, 2011
By John Schneider

Walking around downtown with a city’s mayor, you get to know pretty quickly how things are going.  For Jim Ruberto, the four-term mayor of the Gateway City of Pittsfield, MA, things are looking up.  It’s been a pretty good summer for the city and you hear that from shop owners and constituents you meet along the way, and see it in the vibrant store fronts and public art displays along the city’s main street.
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Friday, September 23, 2011
By John Schneider

It takes a lot of “mojo” to help smaller industrial cities turn things around.  For 11 mill cities in Massachusetts, what we at MassINC call the Gateway Cities, sparking economic and social innovation often requires thinking out of the box.  That’s where creative placemaking can help local leaders think about their communities in new ways and shape the character of a community around arts and cultural activities.
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Friday, July 8, 2011
Concentrated poverty is a big problem for many urban communities, including a number of the state’s Gateway Cities. Studies show that concentrating poor families in neighborhoods with other extremely low-income residents magnifies the negative effects of poverty. Crime, high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy rates, and substance abuse are all higher than they would otherwise be when poverty is highly concentrated in a neighborhood.
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Friday, July 8, 2011
Research from Andy Sum and Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies documents the important connection between holding down a job in high school and attachment to the labor force in later years. Professor Sum’s research tells us that high Gateway City teen unemployment rates could have economic consequences that persist well into the future. Budget makers have been struggling to preserve the programs that these communities need to give high school students employment opportunities. Here’s a quick summary of three youth job programs and their funding prospects for the new fiscal year.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By Ben Forman

New research by the Brookings Institution adds to our understanding of immigrants in Gateway City regions. The report looks at the balance between low-skill (those without a high school degree or equivalent) and high-skill immigrants (those with a BA or higher) in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

By Ben Forman

A new study by the Brookings Institution argues that today’s manufacturers are increasingly small, specialized firms hidden in plain sight in American’s urban areas.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

By John Schneider

The current edition of MassINC’s CommonWealth magazine features several items related to the Gateway Cities.  If you want to learn more about the state of affairs in Lawrence—including the city’s embattled mayor—check out Gabrielle Gurley’s feature story “Lawrence on the mat.”  Also, Robert Fishman, real estate partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish, LLP, describes the financing deal for the Quincy Center project.  He says the deal, “among the most complicated documents with which I have been involved during more than 30 years of real estate practice,” might just be the “creative solution” needed to move projects in the Gateway Cities forward today.  Finally, Lowell resident John Schneider puts his own Gateway Cities spin on a review of Ed Glaeser’s book, Triumph of the City.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

By John Schneider

Secretary of Education Paul Reville is quoted in today’s Boston Globe story about underperforming schools, “It’s a lot of hard work ahead.  There are no magical cures.”  We agree, and with 71 percent of Gateway City students attending a level 3 or 4 school, and with 23 underperforming schools in a Gateway City—10 in Springfield alone—we have no time to lose.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Most of us take for granted being able to access healthy food at the neighborhood grocery store.  But a new report by a Philadelphia-based organization called the Food Trust says that Massachusetts does not have enough supermarkets to adequately serve our population.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011
CEO’S For Cities has launched an unusual contest.  In an effort to increase the number adults with college degrees in our cities, they have partnered with the Kresge Foundation and the Lumina Foundation to award the $1 million “Talent Dividend Prize” to the city with the greatest increase in the number of college degrees per one thousand population.  To find out if your city is eligible to enter the contest (and many of the Gateway Cities do qualify), click here.  Good luck!
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Monday, March 14, 2011

By John Schneider

The Brookings Institution has released its latest analysis of metropolitan economies and Massachusetts is one of fifteen states where the bulk of economic output comes from one metropolitan region. 

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Monday, March 7, 2011
Video of a recent conference call and presentation, "New Municipal Strategies for Economic Development through Asset Building and Financial Empowerment," is now available.  Click here to see the video in full.
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Monday, February 28, 2011

Forum explores local cultural institutions as catalysts for creative economy growth

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

By Ben Forman

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

John Schneider

Smith and Wesson has received a $6 million state tax credit to add 225 jobs to its plant in Springfield.  Meanwhile, local officials in Pittsfield are sitting on pins and needles to see if federal funding is coming their way for components of a defense project to be built in their city resulting in 500 or so new jobs (looks likely).  It’s looking like a white Christmas for folks in Western Massachusetts.

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Monday, November 29, 2010
By Ben Forman

I received a voicemail this morning from a machine tool manufacturer in Springfield. The owner was irate about a Boston Globe report describing tax credits the state has been negotiating with General Electric. He said he could hire new workers if the state would help him invest in new equipment.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010
By John Schneider

As reported in today’s Boston Globe, the coming “crackdown” on higher education institutions with high student default rates is long overdue.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010
By John Schneider

Our colleagues at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings have released a new report about how the top 100 metro areas are doing in boosting U.S. exports across the globe.  Why does it matter?  Because, according to Brookings, increasing the nation’s export capacity is a sure path to stronger job growth.
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

By Ben Forman

The Colonial Theater had been dark for over 50 years when the City of Pittsfield bet that bringing it back to life would make a bold statement about the community’s future. We met recently with leaders from the across Western Massachusetts to learn about what Pittsfield has achieved since successfully reopening the theater in 2006, and how that could be applied to other Gateway Cities and regions looking to grow the creative economy.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

By Ben Forman

I participated yesterday in a forum on the connection between housing and the economy held by the Home Builders Association of Massachusetts. The event marked the release of a report demonstrating the large net revenues residential construction provides for state and local governments.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

By Ben Forman

Last Friday was one of those gorgeous spring days meant for venturing out. Instead of following my normal routine (getting on the T and riding east), I got into the car and drove west on the turnpike to the historic city of Holyoke.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Rail project director Kristina Egan describes corridor's long-term potential.
Kristina Egan
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Friday, March 5, 2010
By Ben Forman

MassINC has argued that the benefits of economic development spending should be quantifiable in order to justify taxpayer investment. But we recognize that this is challenging work.
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Friday, January 29, 2010

By Mary Beth Meehan

American cities don’t die; they change. Global forces push and pull – industries move and take their jobs with them, economies shift focus, wars around the globe drive people from their homes – and our hometowns struggle to keep their balance.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

An interview with Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, New England Council of Carpenters 

"To understand what’s ahead for the American worker, you have to look back on what’s been happening in this country for the last three decades. From my years in the labor movement and certainly in my lifetime, I’ve watched us become a different kind of society with a different set of values. Over the last 30 years, there has been an unprecedented growth in income inequality. Mark Erlich Eighty percent of Americans have seen their wages diminish or stagnate.  Now it takes two wage earners in a family to make the equivalent of what one used to earn. Not only is this alarming on its own but it represents a dramatic turn in a society that was on a trajectory to greater parity after World War II."

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