Working with MassINC and the Brookings Institute, the Innovation Institute undertook a rigorous study to examine whether and how major Massachusetts cities can position themselves to become gateways for future economic development. We looked at eleven cities, with populations over 35,000, including Brockton, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield, Pittsfield and Worcester.
Entitled Reconnecting Massachusetts Gateway Cities: Lessons Learned and an Agenda for Renewal, the Project collected economic and demographic data on these cities, interview public and private regional leaders examine the development plans of comparable cities across the Country and develop a roadmap for urban economic development in the knowledge economy, for each of these cities.
The study, Reconnecting Massachusetts Gateway Cities: Lessons Learned and an Agenda for Renewal, exposed a deep divide between job growth and prosperity in Greater Boston, and struggling, regional cities located outside of Route 128. This study focuses on the economic, development, and social trends in 11 historic Massachusetts manufacturing cities (the “Gateway Cities”) and their regions. The municipalities are deemed “Gateways” because they are at once gateways to the next era of the state’s economic success and key portals for their diverse, often foreign-born, residents’ ongoing pursuit of the American dream.