Lowell resident and MassINC Executive Vice President John Schneider has been pushing the Gateway Cities initiative. Read the message that he and his colleague Ben Forman recently released. For details on MassINC’s Gateway Cities Education Summit in Worcestor on Feb. 4, visit www.massinc.org
The Gateway Cities Globe momentThis past Thanksgiving day, The Boston Globe began a series of weekly editorials dedicated to Massachusetts Gateway Cities. With six editorials in all, the Globe’s Gateway Cities series provided both substance and symbolism to the long-standing effort to help these communities capture their unrealized potential in the state’s new economy.
MassINC’s 2007 research report, “Reconnecting Massachusetts Gateway Cities,” made common the phrase now widely used to refer to smaller, former mill cities like Lawrence, New Bedford, and Pittsfield. Since the publication of the report, MassINC, mayors from the 11 Gateway Cities, and the Urban Initiative at UMass Dartmouth, have worked collaboratively to develop a stronger partnership with the state around policies needed to stimulate reinvestment. The Globe series’ sequential examination of critical “Gateways” issues such as housing, transportation, governance and economic development strategies closely mirrors this work, while providing insightful, substantive commentary to a large and important audience.
The Globe’s decision to dedicate such significant editorial “real estate” to this area is symbolically important as well. It shows growing acknowledgment and concern on the part of Beacon Hill. The plight of these cities, and the steps needed to resurrect them, have been heralded and argued on the editorial pages of regional dailies like the Springfield Republican, the Berkshire Eagle, and the Lowell Sun for years. The fact that The Boston Globe found these stories so important to share signifies what editors Peter Canellos and Dante Ramos spoke to throughout their series – the economic plight of the Gateway Cities is the collective concern of the entire Commonwealth.
Executive Vice President
Ben Forman, Director of Research