Lowell Forward

Alongside the City of Lowell, Utile identified key areas (downtown, central core, riverfronts and canals, neighborhood centers, educational anchors, and industrial / automotive areas) to assess and test develop growth guidelines.

Informed by test fits and community engagement events, the team identified key issues to address in each of these area types. Lowell’s downtown faces issues of accessibility, vacancy, and questions around historic adaption / preservation. Meanwhile industrial areas have many unused sites, and poorly integrate themselves in their surrounding neighborhoods. The riverfront lacks safe intersections, creating barriers to access between different parts of the city.

With these problems in mind, the team is developing a framework of strategies and guidelines to ensure future development promotes the production of affordable housing, increased mobility, economic development, sustainability, and a healthy mix of spaces for recreation and culture throughout the city of Lowell.

neighborhood phase 2
2023-06-20 Industrial Axon View
Axon of industrial pocket, showing a mix of industrial and commercial growth adjacent to residential areas.
downtown phase 2
Perspective highlighting idealized downtown, with: safe streets, generous sidewalks, diverse active ground floor uses, and increased density and building heights.
Framwork map with legend
A variety of engagement activities and games were employed at community events to gather as much feedback as possible from a diverse population.