Gateway Cities Initiative
In February 2007, MassINC and the Brookings Institution released a report on Massachusetts’ regional urban centers outside of Greater Boston. This report, Reconnecting Massachusetts Gateway Cities: Lessons Learned and an Agenda for Renewal, served as a rallying cry for the eleven identified cities – Brockton, Fall River, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield, and Worcester. As the Commonwealth’s residential and job base struggles, the Gateway Cities offer competitive business costs, affordable housing, easy access, and a high quality of life. The focus of Massachusetts’ leadership – public and private – must change to recognize that economic growth and financial return is not only possible, but is in fact happening, outside of the traditional Boston core. The key is providing Gateway Cities with the tools to actively and successfully capture and guide increasing development pressures. The first meeting of representatives of the Gateway Cities was held in Worcester in September 2007. Since that meeting, the Gateway Cities have joined together in the Gateway Cities Compact (see below) to craft a new urban agenda for Massachusetts. Working with MassINC, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Urban Initiative, and the Gateway Cities Caucus formed in the Massachusetts General Court, the Gateway Cities are generating policies and programs to promote real economic growth in Massachusetts.