Mark Hamin, Chair Frank Sleegers, Member Elisabeth Hamin, Department Head
Chicopee, a former industrial center in western Massachusetts, is experiencing a stagnant economy, high vacancy and a steady loss of population. City of Chicopee wants to increase downtown visibility and bolster its economy by attracting in the area people constituent of creative class. This research represents an attempt to identify creative strategies to develop the neglected downtown of Chicopee. After more than a century of economic blight, vacancy and declining population, the city wants to research and exploit the potential of arts and culture as means to a physical, social and economic revivification of its downtown.
A key aim of this study is to formulate a set of best practices and recommendation based on relevant literature and case studies. These evaluations and recommendations would assists the city of Chicopee to craft policies, as they would find appropriate, to help increasing the downtown area economic performance and at large the city economic growth. The recommendations could also serve to the community groups, such as artists, entrepreneurs, students and young professional that want to join their forces to promote community values and redevelopment.