For Immediate Release
Contact: Anthony Flint 617-661-3016 x116
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – New England cities from Somerville to Stamford are rebounding with the help of foreign-born populations, while others such as New Bedford and Hartford are still struggling to achieve economic vitality, according to new research sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
The report was done by researchers at Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies for the Lincoln Institute, a think-tank based in Cambridge, Mass. The findings were presented to public officials, representatives from non-governmental organizations and business leaders Oct. 17 in Worcester at the Smart Growth Leadership Forum, an annual gathering sponsored by the Lincoln Institute.
The report examines the health of more than 50 New England cities over the period of 1980 to 2000, using the measures of population growth or decline, poverty measures compared to statewide averages, income growth compared to statewide averages, and residential property values. It was intended as the first systematic review of the performance of New England’s largest cities, said Armando Carbonell, chair of the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute.
“We had scattered anecdotal reports of a revival in New England cities over the last few years,” Carbonell said. “A definite pattern emerged in the data, indicating the importance of foreign immigration and proximity to the strong regional cities of Boston and New York as drivers of New England urban growth.”
"If not for a surge in immigration, few large New England cities with population declines in the 1970s or 1980s would have bounced back," said Eric Belsky, executive director of the Joint for Center Housing Studies and a co-author of the report. "Meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse urban population is more important than ever. Helping immigrants enter the economic mainstream and giving them reasons to stay in cities when they do is a key to future urban economic vitality in the region."
The report lists cities that have enjoyed sustained growth and economic vitality, with Boston, Cambridge, and Stamford leading the way; cities that experienced growth that was not sustained, and cities that have struggled. To download the report, go to www.lincolninst.edu, click on News & Events, then Pressroom.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, founded in 1974, does research and convenes conferences on land use, planning and development, and tax policy, in the U.S. and worldwide. The Smart Growth Leadership Forum is held in partnership with The US Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and the New England Initiative at the Center for Industrial Competitiveness at UMass-Lowell.