Date of Award

1987

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)

Department

Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Marcia Marker Feld

Abstract

Urban dynamics are occurring in the neighborhood of South Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts which are bringing changes to the residential environment of this neighborhood. Historically, South Worcester has been a working-class to lower-class stable residential neighborhood. It has had a significant industrial presence within its boundaries. Two developments during the 1960's, the 1963 zoning ordinance and the construction of Route 290, evoked changes in its residential environment, thereby threatening its residential stability. These external factors have impacted the housing values and the dynamics of change. They have promoted a shift from the residential land uses to the non-residential land uses permitted under the manufacturing zoning classifications. As these land uses expand, there has been a decrease in the quality of the environmental characteristics resulting in a weakened desirability of this neighborhood as considered in locational decisions.

Several theories offer interpretations of urban neighborhood change dynamics. The application of key concepts from the "Arbitrage Model of Neighborhood Transition" completes the assessment of the dynamics in this South Worcester neighborhood. Considerations of the arbitrage process, future expectations of households and its understanding of filtering demonstrate the process by which the residential ambiance of the neighborhood has been weakened as the environment has been enhanced for expanding non-residential land uses.

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