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Opening the Gates of Opportunity: Realizing the Potential of Gateway Cities in Massachusetts

APRIL 18, 2014 - 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET

Cambridge, MA

Joint the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University for an event on Massachusetts' Gateway Cities efforts.


Gateway Cities - named from a 2007 MassInc and Brooking report - are midsize urban centers that anchor regional economies around Massachusetts. For generations, these communities were home to industry that offered residents good jobs and a “gateway” to the American Dream. Over the past several decades, manufacturing jobs slowly disappeared. Lacking resources and capacity to rebuild and reposition, Gateway Cities have been slow to draw new economy investment.


Since the report first focused on Gateway Cities and the stubborn social and economic challenges they grapple with, the state legislature has worked to invest in these communities and support their existing infrastructure and strong connections to transportation networks, museums, hospitals, universities and other major institutions, disproportionately young and underutilized workers, and authentic urban fabric.


Changing social and economic forces open up new opportunities for Gateway Cities to leverage these untapped assets. Demand for walkable neighborhoods is rising and the small entrepreneurial businesses that fuel job creation in today’s economy are increasingly seeking out urban innovative environments. These trends position Gateway Cities to once again serve as engines driving growth in regional economies across the Commonwealth.