Worcester Now | Next Citywide Plan

Utile led Worcester’s first citywide planning process since 1987 with the intent of establishing a framework for continued growth, and laying the foundation for a subsequent citywide rezoning effort. To this end, Utile worked with the Worcester Regional Research Bureau to foreground the relationship and role of zoning in addressing the legacy of urban renewal, redlining, and other exclusionary policies that impacted how Worcester grew and changed over the past century.

In order to ensure a strong foundation Utile partnered with the City to bring in a local community organizer to broaden awareness and participation, especially among the Spanish-speaking community. The process included multiple citywide surveys and many “pop-ups” at local events like the Tercentennial to make sure the plan was informed by community identification of key issues, opportunities, and values.

The plan was also envisioned as a springboard to launch topic-specific action plans (like the Mobility Action Plan for Safe, Equitable, and Sustainable Transportation) as well as district and neighborhood planning efforts.

Utile developed a rigorous scenario planning and test-fitting method to identify how Worcester could grow in a responsible way that aligned with community values. One of the identified strategies was allowing accessory dwelling units within all single family zones, subject to dimensional controls.

Growth Areas
Redlining Map
Now Next