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Planting seeds of renewal in struggling Lowell neighborhood

This is an interesting article about the work that MIT’s Urban Studies and Planning program is doing in the community. They are developing plans to try to revitalize a struggling neighborhood in Lowell, Mass. It is a neat example of how the Boston college population is reaching out to the community and creating a tangible effect of their work.

Planting seeds of renewal in struggling Lowell neighborhood

By Jennifer Myers, jmyers@lowellsun.com

LOWELL —Seventeen graduate students from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning want to help. They have been in the neighborhood collecting data and observing what works and what does not.

Two weeks ago, they held a preliminary meeting with residents to collect ideas and feedback. A completed neighborhood-improvement plan is expected to be ready for a meeting on Dec. 3.

The Back Central plan marks the third time that MIT professor Terry Szold has brought a group of graduate students to the Mill City. In 2005, they completed a master plan for Centralville. In 2007 they returned to take on the Acre.”I love the city,” said Szold. “The diversity of places within the city is very intriguing for planning students, as are the challenges of maintaining the history and working, older neighborhoods that are subject to new pressures.”

According to Lowell Chief Planner George Proakis, an MIT alumnus, the cost of putting together a comparable plan through the use of hired consultants could cost the city upwards of $100,000.

Rea the rest of the article here.

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November 9, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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