For Immediate Release: 1/26/2024 4:46 pm
WORCESTER, Mass. – Over the course of two years, the Worcester Now | Next planning process has engaged a wide variety of community members in the collective creation of the city’s first citywide long-range plan in nearly 37 years. Worcester Now | Next strives to capture the vision and values of our community and provide a framework to guide the way that we grow, invest, and make decisions to shape the physical development and evolution of the city in the next 10 years.
The Draft Worcester Now | Next Citywide Long-range Plan has emerged from the extensive engagement and analysis conducted through the planning process and was released on Jan. 25, 2024. The Draft Plan presents the six top priority early action items to be implemented in the next 3-5 years, including a citywide zoning overhaul, and is structured around three headlines which articulate the Plan’s focus:
The release of the Draft Plan marks the opening of a one-month public comment period which is intended to provide an opportunity for Worcester community members to review the Draft Plan content and share feedback to inform final revisions in advance of formal adoption of the Plan. The final draft of the Plan will guide the next 10 years of planning, policymaking, and capital projects in Worcester, including zoning.
A digital public comment form will be available on the Worcester Now | Next project website for the duration of the one-month public comment period. The Planning Board will also hold a hybrid public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. to provide an overview of the Draft Plan and allow for discussion. The primary purpose of this meeting will be to hear feedback from the Planning Board, but community members are encouraged to attend to learn more and participate in the discussion.
At the conclusion of the comment period, the planning team will review all comments received and make revisions accordingly before the Plan is finalized and put forward for adoption by the Planning Board this winter.
“This framework outlines our shared vision for the community we want to see for Worcester through 2040,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “I am grateful for our community members who engaged with this process and shared their input for all that our city can be, and should be, in 2040. Those ideas of today will shape our next chapter.”
Get to Know the Draft Worcester Now | Next Citywide Long-range Plan:
Community members can familiarize themselves with the Draft Plan for sustainable and equitable growth in Worcester by reviewing any of the following documents:
1) A brief one-page Flyer
2) An informative 8-page Executive Summary
3) The full Draft Worcester Now | Next Plan
All three documents are available online at the Worcester Now | Next Plan website here: now-next.worcesterma.gov. The Flyer and Executive Summary are available in 8 languages (Albanian, Arabic, English, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Twi, and Vietnamese) to make the Draft Plan content accessible to as many community members as possible.
Community members are encouraged to share feedback on the Draft Plan via the digital public comment form throughout the public comment period, which is expected to conclude on Feb. 25th. The digital public comment form is available at now-next.worcesterma.gov along with all the Draft Plan materials.
Community members can also join the Planning Board’s Public Hearing to learn more and can subscribe here for updates on the Worcester Now | Next planning process, and similar future processes.
If you or your organization would like to request hardcopies of the Flyer and/or Executive Summary or the comment form to help make them more broadly available to the Worcester Community, please contact the City’s Planning & Regulatory Services Division at firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or 508-799-1400 x31440.
Planning Board Public Hearing Details:
A hybrid public hearing will be held by the Worcester Planning Board on Wednesday, January 31st at 5:30pm at Worcester City Hall (455 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608) in the Levi Lincoln Chamber (Room 309). Attendees will additionally have options to participate remotely by joining online or by phone:
• Use the following link to join the meeting via computer
• Call 844-621-3956 (Access Code: 2633 685 5101)
Note: If technological problems interrupt the virtual meeting component, the meeting will continue in-person.