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Focus on Downtown Series – Urban Land Institute’s Technical Assistance Panel on 12/12
One of the elements of a more vibrant and successful downtown is making sure you have the right combination of office, retail, residential and open spaces. They need to be thought of as a system and should really complement each other. However, securing the expertise to help determine the mix that is both practical and fits with the town’s goals is difficult and expensive.
I am pleased to say that we have secured a grant through MassDevelopment to conduct what is known as a Technical Assistance Panel (“TAP”) to help us in Ashland determine what that mix is. TAP’s look at a feasible and workable mixture of uses that will help us realize our goals of a more vibrant downtown.
Technical Assistance Panels convene a number renowned experts in the engineering, architectural, economic development, and market analysis fields to look at specific issues in cities and towns across Massachusetts. They typically engage in literature reviews of previous planning studies, conduct interviews with relevant experts and stakeholders, and then combine that with their real world experience to provide practical recommendations and strategies for towns to implement.
Our designated panelists have already been evaluating Ashland’s downtown and developing recommendations. The TAP will present their findings at a presentation on December 12th, at 6PM in the Board of Selectmen’s meeting room. It will also be televised on WACA. We hope you will be able to attend or watch, as this will be a vital component in the revitalization of downtown.