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.
In the fall of 2014, three local governments contracted with the MRP Studio to create separate vision plans that focused on key aspects of community revitalization. For the Town of Winchendon, the graduate student team (Carousel Consulting) created a revitalization plan that addressed declining investment and commercial activity in the Central Street corridor. As the “downtown” and commercial center of Winchendon, the strategy for Central Street focused on generating reinvestment through the advancement of commercial development and diversity, infill development and cohesion, place-making and branding, open space and recreation, and circulatory functionality.