Revitalizing Urban Main Streets

Working with the City of Holyoke's Office of Planning and Economic Development and One Holyoke, a local community development corporation, this practicum will develop strategies for public and private investment in a traditional small city downtown.

Holyoke is small city in the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts. The paper and textile industries helped it grow in the 19th century, but by the mid-1900's those industries had faded. Today, median household income is $40,769, less than half the state median. Over half the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino. As a result of limited disposable income in the area, as well as trends towards online retail and the rise of supercenters outside the downtown, High Street has struggled over the past 30 years. Downtown housing as well as new approaches to placemaking, retail, and service centers are all potential parts of a strategy for equitable revitalization.