Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development

First Advisor

Marcia Marker Feld


During the last ten years, the Town of Westerly, RI along with the entire New England area has experienced a downward trend in manufacturing employment. In addition, Westerly has become aware of the need to prepare for the possible closure or intercontinental move of one of Southeastern New England's largest employers, General Dynamics located in New London, Connecticut. General Dynamics represents Westerly's largest single employer with 10% or 1,000 Westerly residents employed directly and a higher unknown percentage employed in associated industries, which would be impacted by significant changes in the regional economic base.

The Town's 1992 Comprehensive Plan does not address the issue of downward employment trends in manufacturing and was written before the potential loss of General Dynamics became apparent. The Westerly Economic Development Board, however, has been meeting regularly to access the implications of such loses and to review remedial options. For example, Westerly has taken two major steps. First, the Town of Westerly's Economic Development Board has requested that an industrial site survey be conducted to identify suitable industrial space within the town's limits.



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