Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Neighborhoods

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:

Airport Hill
Ararat
Beacon
Burncoat
Canal District
Chadwick
Chandler (Or Peidmont Village)
College Hill
Downtown
East Side
Federal Square
Gateway Park
Grafton Hill
Greendale
Green Island
Hadwen Park
Highland/Elm
Lower Lincoln
North Main
North Worcester
Quinsigamond Village
Shrewsbury Street (or Bell Hill)
South Worcester
Tatnuck
University Park
Upper Grafton
Upper Lincoln
Vernon Hill
Webster Square
West Side

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.

9 comments:

filterofsyntax said...

I wholeheartedly agree!

4rilla said...

That sounds pretty darn awesome to me!

You mean you want more than 3 sentences devoted to "north" "south" "east" and "west" Worcester?

Paulie's Point of View said...

seems like Kate Toomey is always talking about stuff like this but it is never getting done..

Gabe..here is were I am going to bang you..."why don't you approach a City Councilor and work towards this"?..the bike path in Somerville had mucho involvement from a citizen active bike organization...throwing out great ideas for others to do is a classic examople of our City Councilors suggesting rubbah sidewalks to the City Manager....just that throwing out a suggestion/idea..we need more in this city from folks and that means doing some heavy lifting!

Rich said...

"North Worcester is home to one of the city’s most powerful vistas – the smokestacks and warehouses of the Saint-Gobain plant, one of the world’s largest abrasives manufacturers."

Gabe, you're kidding right, this is pure poetry! Ready to sell and move today to take in all this beauty.

Gabe said...

Rich that would be Greendale, no?

See the "powerful vistas" would be an example of the total bullshit that should not be in any of these descriptions however the part about St Gobain being one of the world's largest abrasive manufacturers should.

That's the whole point. You lay out all the positives of the neighborhoods honestly and without any false hype.

Gabe said...

Paulie,

Fair enough. Time to get to typing up letters.

Paulie's Point of View said...

I love when someone say's I am right...I'd kiss you if you could fit into a size 2 dress

Anonymous said...

check out stpete.org. they decided several years ago to better identify their neighborhoods for citizens and visitors alike and it has been a huge success

ben

Big Asshole said...

well said