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The Worcester Now | Next Citywide Plan Vision Statement and Draft Goals Are Public!

For Immediate Release: 12/8/2022 4:00 pm

WORCESTER, Mass. — The City of Worcester has released the Worcester Now | Next Citywide Plan vision statement and draft goals, which address the future of housing, transportation and economic opportunity in Worcester. The City is seeking input from the public via the Priority Goals Questionnaire, which will be open through January 9th of 2023 and takes just 5 minutes to fill out.

This vision statement was developed collaboratively with the Worcester Now | Next Advisory Committee based on themes that emerged from a wide range of engagement tools and events over the last eight months: the citywide visioning survey last spring, the virtual and in-person public visioning workshops held last summer, the topic-specific working group meetings held virtually in August, and the series of in-person focus groups and pop-ups at events across the city throughout the summer and fall.

VISION STATEMENT: In Worcester’s fourth century, we envision a creative city of neighbors who value inclusion and celebrate diversity. We will uplift our city by investing equitably in our communities, connecting our neighborhoods to opportunity, and prioritizing sustainable growth that supports improved quality of life for all.

Now | Next Community Organizer, Guillermo Creamer Jr. said, “A City’s vision statement should reflect the hopes of its residents. I am thrilled to see the commitment residents have for our city come to life in this vision statement. May this statement serve has a guideline to all leaders in our city as we continue to shape the future for our city. I hope our community feels heard and we can collectively work towards creating goals and recommendations to further improve Worcester.”

The vision flows most directly from the hundreds of visioning comment cards filled out by Worcester community members responding to two questions:

  1. Worcester NOW: What do you love about Worcester NOW that you want to keep, protect, and/or celebrate?

  2. Worcester NEXT: What’s NEXT for Worcester? How do you envision the future of Worcester? If you could change one thing about Worcester as part of the city’s next chapter, what would you change?

“We are excited to have such an energizing and ambitious vision developed by the Worcester community,” said Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “This vision conveys the love and passion our residents and community members have for this city and shows the drive we all have to make Worcester the best version of itself. This vision statement will be our north star as we take on new initiatives and implement new policies in the decade to come.”

PRIORITY GOALS QUESTIONNAIRE

The draft goals cover a wide range of topics and themes, from core land use and development issues to broader issues of identity and quality of life.

“This is a critical moment for the City of Worcester - now is the time for our residents and community members to speak up and tell us what goals we should be working towards,” said Acting City Manager, Eric D. Batista. “These goals will serve as the City’s guide over the next ten years, ensuring that we are focusing on the issues that matter most to the vitality and wellbeing of our entire community.”

The draft goals presented in the questionnaire were developed based on the Planning Team’s analysis and synthesis of past plans as well as the results of the public engagement to date. Specifically, the draft goals draw from a wide range of engagement tools and events over the last eight months: the citywide visioning survey last spring, the virtual and in-person public visioning workshops held last summer, the topic-specific working group meetings held virtually in August, and the series of focus groups and pop-ups at events across the city throughout the summer and fall.

Questionnaire results will be synthesized and presented to the public at the winter Public Draft Plan Workshop in February of 2023. The goals will guide development of more specific actionable recommendations for the plan. Subscribe for e-updates on the plan and opportunities to participate here: Worcester Now | Next Sign Up (mailchi.mp).

Participate in the questionnaire here: https://now-next.worcesterma.gov/

Paper copies of the questionnaire are also available at City Hall (455 Main St.), Worcester Public Library (3 Salem St.), the Worcester Senior Center (128 Providence St.), and other partner locations throughout the city.

For any questions or to help with outreach for and promotion of the Priority Goals Questionnaire, please reach out to the community organizer, Guillermo Creamer Jr. at nownext@utiledesign.org

Worcester Now | Next is an eighteen-month-long citywide planning process exploring issues such as land use, housing, economic opportunity, transportation and mobility, natural and cultural resources, open space and recreation, and services and facilities, among others.

The project will generate a long-range plan that knits together past, present, and future initiatives covering the entire city, from downtown to its dozens of neighborhoods. The plan will provide a coordinated roadmap for the future development and evolution of the city over the next ten years and will establish a framework for more detailed studies down the road.

Join us in developing a citywide plan that focuses on equity, resilience, inclusion, integrity, and innovation as core values guiding growth and change in the city and take the questionnaire and subscribe for updates today.

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