Business improvement districts : an effective revitalization tool for Massachusetts' forgotten cities?
Author(s)Rothrock, Laura (Laura Ann)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Lawrence, Massachusetts is one of many "forgotten cities" characterized by high vacancy and crime rates as well as the outsourcing of the manufacturing industry. Yet with the recent redevelopment plans for a number of underutilized mills clustered in the downtown, stakeholders in the community believe Lawrence is on the brink of an urban renaissance. This thesis is intended to assist a coalition of property owners who are in the process of forming a business improvement district (BID) to enhance their investments in the mill district. However, these stakeholders face a dilemma: they must form a partnership with a city government that lacks capacity and rely on faulty BID enabling legislation in order to collectively leverage district improvements.Through case study analysis of BIDs, this thesis identifies key barriers to BID formation and provides recommendations on how best to overcome them. It also recommends that the Massachusetts BID enabling legislation be changed by removing the opt-out clause.Targeted at stakeholders in Lawrence and other forgotten cities in Massachusetts with an interest in forming a BID, two primary conclusions are drawn. First, a public-private balance of power shaped by way of a legal contract that outlines the city's and BID's role in forgotten cities is essential. Second, BID planners in Massachusetts, because of the opt-out clause in the enabling legislation, need to conduct additional outreach to property owners in the district.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 83-85).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.