So if Worcester had a strong mayor, and I was that guy, the first thing I would do would be to meet with the people in charge of this website. What we would talk about is the direction of this part of the website and try to figure out how we could make it more comprehensive. My first order of business would be to get rid of the 7 links under the "More Information" heading (and the heading all together) and then add 30 links which would be:
Chandler (Or Peidmont Village)
Shrewsbury Street (or Bell Hill)
Each neighborhoods page would have a map of the neighborhood, pictures of the neighborhood, and information divided into four sections.
1. About The Neighborhood- A clear and concise yet brief history of the neighborhood and explanation as to the shaping of the neighborhood and how it got to be the way it is today including demographics, cultures, ethinicities, and crime stats. This section should sell the neighborhood but should do so in an honest and straightforward fashion and should not be sugar coated unless merited. In Shrewsbury Streets section for example it would be perfectly acceptable to talk about the abundance of restaurants. Negatives should not be talked about but for example if the neighborhood has a crime problem it shouldn't be called a good place to raise a family.
2. Living In The Neighborhood- What does the average house cost and what is the housing stock in this neighborhood? What about the average rent for one, two and three bedrooms? What schools will kids attend if they live in the neighborhood? What does the neighborhood offer for places of worship? What is the parking situation? What highways are close? What bus lines run through? How walkable is the neighborhood? What is here for grocery stores and markets?
3. Playing In The Neighborhood- What does the neighborhood offer for restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries, shopping, museums, theaters, parks, sports, classes, and other indoor and outdoor leisure and cultural activities.
4. Working In The Neighborhood- Does the neighborhood have any large employer or dominant industry?
Worcester is not just one community. In this city of almost 180,000 people there are many communities and many different priorities, but before we start to really tackle any of them we need to organize as best we can these communities so that we can come up with good master plans for all of them and try the best we can so as to not just create desirable spaces to live, work, and play but also do so in a way that not only raises our tax base so that we can keep doing it but also do it wisely so that the neighborhood becomes self sustaining.
I feel that once this happens, once our neighborhoods are defined and master plans are drawn up then we can go through them one at a time, much like you would do with the rooms in a house and do them up and do them up right. Of the 30 neighborhoods listed above 14 of them have something major going on in them either right now or drawn up and being looked at. We are spreading ourselves too thin. I say put enough in to all the neighborhoods to keep them as they are right now without letting get any worse and starting with the ones that are closest to being turned around put everything we can into executing that neighborhoods master plan to the fullest extent we can and then move onto the next one.
We do all this, and when the next real estate boom hits, here we will be, waiting with open arms, organized, saying Welcome to Worcester, here is what we have to offer, take off your coat and stay a while.