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 2016, the Town of Montague’s Department of Planning and Conservation gave the Regional Planning Studio and the UMass Springfield Design Center six directives related to drafting a redevelopment strategy for the vacant mill along the privately owned power canal. The directives are as follows:
- Conduct interviews with property owners, abutters, and developers;
- Recommend a brand/identity for the District;
- Develop elements of a draft district plan;
- Identify key public infrastructure and investments;
- Create inspiring plan view and perspective visuals; and
- Provide recommendations and an implementation plan.
Powering Forward: A Vision for the Turners Falls Canal District aims to reintegrate the District with Downtown Turners Falls, to connect people with the Connecticut River, and to honor the history of the mills.