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Restoring the Heart: A Community Vision for the Neighborhood of Aldenville

The goal of the Master of Regional Planning Studio is to develop a student’s techniques for collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing spatial and non-spatial data and then presenting that collective data in a manner (i.e., report, video, presentation, and charettes) that is understandable to academics, professionals, and the public. Planning Studio allows students to integrate knowledge from coursework and research, and apply such knowledge to resolving representative planning problems. At UMASS Amherst, these problems are found in neighborhood, rural, urban, and/or regional settings. For the Fall 2017 Planning Studio, Chicopee tasked the Masters of Regional Planning Studio to prepare a vision plan that focuses on improving Chicopee’s public engagement and land-use in Aldenville. The vision plan will contain a multi-question survey that will query Chicopee residents on their opinions of Chicopee, overall, and/or the neighborhood of Aldenville. In addition, the vision plan will also include two proposed land-use studies (zoning, land-use, pedestrian access, design, street improvements) for the neighborhood of Aldenville. This project has 6 goals: § Goal 1: Develop an outreach/engagement process that includes community survey materials (in hard-copy and digital formats) for distribution to Aldenville residents and stakeholders. The Planning Studio shall develop these materials understanding the City’s intended re-use of materials in a City-wide comprehensive visioning process. § Goal 2: Experiment with non-traditional modes of community engagement to maximize variety and volume of community response and data collection. § Goal 3: Analyze data collected from the outreach/engagement process to best inform the neighborhood visioning process and final Aldenville Vision Plan. § Goal 4: Develop a comprehensive understanding and graphic representation of major neighborhood destinations within Aldenville from which a more connected neighborhood concept can be developed. § Goal 5: Document, analyze, and discuss neighborhood opportunities and challenges (informed by the Community Outreach/Public Engagement Process) to advance visions for improving connectivity within the neighborhood and broadening the potential for Aldenville to function as a destination for all City residents as well as visitors from outside the City. § Goal 6: Document and prioritize destinations within Aldenville and propose urban design interventions to improve these destinations while using these destinations as anchors in a larger neighborhood network.