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Gateway Cities Conference



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The Urban Initiative wishes to thank all of its sponsors and partners for their logistical, technical and financial support in organizing and executing this successful and groundbreaking conference.

The UMass Dartmouth Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center in Fall River was the site of an historic gathering of state and local officials for the first-ever Massachusetts Gateway Cities Conference, which was organized by the UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative with sponsorship from Verizon Communications and support from MassINC, the SouthCoast Development Partnership, and the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council.

Those in attendance included Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, the Mayors and City Managers of the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities, several members of the state legislature from across Massachusetts, members of the Governor’s Cabinet and administration, as well as numerous individuals representing a variety of businesses, non-profit and civic organizations, quasi-governmental agencies, and a number of local officials from Gateway City communities and beyond.

The conference was the first ever convened on the subject and was the result of months of work on the part of the Gateway Cities Coalition. In addition to featuring a combination of presentations, panel discussions, and a facilitated open discussion among all conference attendees, the Coalition unveiled specific recommendations aimed at revitalizing their aging economies.

The conference also featured a Keynote Urban Policy Presentation by Mark Muro, Policy Director for the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program and a panel discussion on the role and importance of an energetic and active state-local partnership, which featured Former Governor Michael Dukakis of Northeastern University; Undersecretary of Business Development, Gregory Bialecki; UMass Dartmouth Chancellor, Jean MacCormack; the former Mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Graham Richard; State Representative Michael Rodrigues; and Lawrence businessman, entrepreneur, and real estate developer, Salvatore Lupoli.

Event Photos


The presentation below was given by the Urban Initiative’s Director, Ed Lambert during the Conference and reflects a list of draft recommendation that could become a part of the final Gateway Cities Agenda. The first three topic areas of Economic Development, Historic Tax Credits, and Housing are much more specific and reflect months of discussion among the chief executives and economic development directors of the Gateway Cities. All of the recommendations were presented during the conference and attendees were afforded the opportunity to provide comments and suggestions both verbally and in writing.

The presentation below was given by Benjamin Forman, Research Associate at MassINC and reflects findings from much of the research their organization has conducted relative to state reinvestment in core urban communities.

Gateway Cities Conference In the News

Coalition Pitching Change to Patrick [PDF]
Fall River Herald News, October 3, 2008

Conference Focuses on “Gateway Cities” [PDF]
New Bedford Standard Times, October 4, 2008

Dukakis Sees Promise for Gateway Cities [PDF]
Fall River Herald News, October 3, 2008

Community Leaders Urge State to Assist “Gateway Cities” [PDF]
Springfield Republican, October 3, 2008