Date of Award

1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)

Department

Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Farhad Atash

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify problems and potentials related to the physical environment in the City of Worcester. This study covers a significant time period. Research for this report was initiated in 1988 and since that time many changes have taken place both in the physical environment of the city but also in the governing structure of the city. The City of Worcester is interesting because like many cities in the northeast and in Massachusetts in particular, it has a long history. In addition, its central location in the State and in the region could be valuable asset to the city in the future.

The report begins with an analysis of the existing conditions in the City of Worcester. Describing the history of the City as well as current conditions this section provides the framework for the recommendations to be made in the rest of the study1. The second and third parts of this study provide recommendations intended to improve and enhance existing conditions for a defined portion of the city, the Main Street Study Area. The area is so named because the primary thoroughfare is Main Street and because it offers conditions similar to those found in many cities throughout the United States.

The Main Street Study Area like many other American, 'main street cities' has been in a state of decline for a long period of time. City officials have and continue to strategies over the years in order to mitigate this decline. Most of these plans were not visible except in written form until very recently. And so currently, parts of the Main Street Study Area are being physically transformed to coincide with the many plans developed throughout the late l 980's and early l 990's. This study looks at the history of the city, the many planning strategies adopted and physical changes currently taking place. Recommendations are made in the second two parts of the study which are intended to complement and further the progress made so far and to address areas which are currently not being improved upon.

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