Publication Date



The Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, is part of the Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department, and is funded by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the University of Massachusetts.


The town of Charlton, Massachusetts has experienced relatively high population growth over the past two and a half decades. From 1970 to 1990 the population more than doubled, and this growth is projected to continue into the next millennium. this boom in residential growth and development has placed financial pressures on the town, impacting the town's ability to provide services to its residents. For example, many of the new residents moving in to Charlton are families with children who increase the funding necessary for the town's school system budget. To offset these financial pressures, the town is actively engaging economic growth in the form of commercial and industrial development.

While Charlton is working to accommodate this growth in residential and commercial/industrial development, the town would also like to protect and preserve elements of its rural town character. There is a great desire on the part of town residents and officials to take control of the town's "destiny" in many respects, and this studio project is one step in that effort. Because over 80 percent of the town's land area is currently undeveloped, there are great opportunities for Charlton to be proactive in its efforts to balance the economic development taking place with efforts to protect the town's rural character.

The goal of this study is to provide Charlton with recommendations that will assist in the preservation of the town's rural character and serve as a balance to encourage commercial and industrial development.


Section 4: Pages 1-94