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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

The Economic Vitality Of The Blackstone Valley Mills: A Snapshot At A Moment In Time, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Robert Rocheleau Jan 2010

The Economic Vitality Of The Blackstone Valley Mills: A Snapshot At A Moment In Time, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Robert Rocheleau

John R. Mullin

The Economic Resilience of the Blackstone Valley Mills Illustrates the Viability of a Flexible-use Business Strategy for New England's Mills and Mill Complexes


The Revitalization Of New England's Small Town Mills: Breathing New Life Into Old Places, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Mar 2009

The Revitalization Of New England's Small Town Mills: Breathing New Life Into Old Places, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

This paper describes and analyzes the recent experience of communities in the six New England states concerning the revitalization of their 19th century mills and mill yards. It begins with an examination of the importance of these complexes to the economy of New England in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the slow decline of the mills into the present. It then identifies the factors that are now stimulating their revitalization and provides myriad examples of where success has occurred. This is followed by a section on 'Lessons Learned' from the experience, and a closing comment concerning future actions.


Partnerships And The Fiscal Implications Of Planning And Development: A Case Study Of Maynard, Massachusetts, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Zeenat Karamchandani Nov 2008

Partnerships And The Fiscal Implications Of Planning And Development: A Case Study Of Maynard, Massachusetts, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Zeenat Karamchandani

John R. Mullin

Redevelopment of urban sites is an ongoing concern for many communities in the industrial Northeast United States. While many mill sites still languish, examples of successful revitalization can be found. Most of these efforts require more than market conditions to make them viable. Partnerships between developers and the community and state are seen to be crucial. These public-private partnerships come in many forms, not always monetary. The detail and effectiveness of these partnerships often depend on the experience and expertise of developers and community professionals. Given that many of these communities have limited staff, agreements are often made quickly with ...


The New Economy: Thriving Amidst Change, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Dec 2006

The New Economy: Thriving Amidst Change, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Communities increasingly see their economic development goal as one of attracting job-generating industrial development and face the need to develop a plan that will achieve this goal. Communities need to know a great deal to succeed at what has become a formidable task, and many have few resources to hire experienced planners to assist them. This chapter is intended to provide information to communities and others that may be embarking on just such planning. The consulting we have undertaken around the country has shown us firsthand the rapid changes that are taking place in the economy and how communities will ...


Working Paper Of Fiscal Impact Analysis: Methods, Cases, And Intellectual Debate, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Dec 2005

Working Paper Of Fiscal Impact Analysis: Methods, Cases, And Intellectual Debate, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Fiscal impact analysis seeks to connect planning and local economics by estimating the public costs and revenues that result from property investments. This type of analysis enables the comparison of revenues to costs associated with new development indicating whether local government can meet new demands for services, or must raise taxes to meet new service demands. This paper is a comprehensive description and assessment of current methods for estimating fiscal impacts, it discusses the influence of local factors such as property tax structure and type of development or growth pattern on fiscal impacts and limitations of methods frequently used. It ...


The Office/Industrial Land Dilemma: A Study Of The Blackstone River Corridor In Massachusetts, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Dec 2005

The Office/Industrial Land Dilemma: A Study Of The Blackstone River Corridor In Massachusetts, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Local planners have often neglected their industrial resources and are therefore jeopardizing their economic base. There is clearly a mismatch between land zoned for industry and that which is suitable for development. Older areas are constrained by issues of compatibility, access, and environmental and flood plain issues. Greenfield sites are constrained by physical site characteristics, such as wetlands and slope, transportation networks, development pressures from other land uses and public perceptions and concerns surrounding industrial uses. Through this case study, this article analyzes the key factors that are influencing industrial land use decisions and provides recommendations that may be of ...


The University As A Contributor To The Local Economy: Key Thoughts For Local Planners, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Jan 2004

The University As A Contributor To The Local Economy: Key Thoughts For Local Planners, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

As we move into the twenty-first century, economic development officials are increasingly attempting to find new ways to "jump start" their local economies. Traditionally, this has involved, among others, finding appropriate land, ensuring there is adequate infrastructure, helping to train the local workforce, bringing financial institutions on board and assisting local entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to the market place. More recently, it has been also oriented toward ensuring that human capital is being invested into the community such that the local schools, recreation facilities, cultural attractions and public safety systems are all first rate. What has been too frequently ...


Planning For Retail Activities In Small Downtowns: Towards A Pragmatic Approach, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Jan 2004

Planning For Retail Activities In Small Downtowns: Towards A Pragmatic Approach, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Over the past twenty years there has been an enormous shift in terms of retail activity in our downtowns. The changes that have occurred have influenced where and how we shop, where we live and how we define the centers of our communities. As these have evolved, planners have constantly attempted to react and adapt. At times, they have been quite sucessful while, more often, they have been frustrated. What is most perplexing is that the shifts show no signs of abating. It is an exciting time to be undertaking downtown planning!


Planning For Retail Activities In Small Downtowns: Towards A Pragmatic Approach, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Dec 2003

Planning For Retail Activities In Small Downtowns: Towards A Pragmatic Approach, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Over the past twenty years there has been an enormous shift in terms of retail activity in our downtowns. The changes that have occurred have influenced where and how we shop, where we live and how we define the centers of our communities. As these have evolved, planners have constantly attempted to react and adapt. At times, they have been quite successful while, more often, they have been frustrated. What is most perplexing is that the shifts show no signs of abating. It is an exciting time to be undertaking downtown planning!


Measuring The Effectiveness Of Downtown Revitalization Strategies, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval May 2003

Measuring The Effectiveness Of Downtown Revitalization Strategies, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Downtowns, the traditional business centers of our communities, have survived many changes throughout the last century. Once thriving retail and civic centers, they were adversely affected by changes in mobility, retail patterns and shopping habits. Since the 1960's downtowns have seen serious competition from suburban shopping centers, malls, strip commercial areas, major discount centers and on-line and catalogue sales. Despite these changes, downtowns still play a central role in our cities today. They are the centers of our urbanized areas and still reflect the economic core and image of our cities. A healthy downtown is often synonymous with a ...


Benchmarking: Measurable Indicators Of Economic Success, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Edward Murray Jan 2002

Benchmarking: Measurable Indicators Of Economic Success, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Edward Murray

John R. Mullin

All our communities are striving for economic success. Political platforms are built on promises of economic prosperity. However, we rarely thoroughly measure this success. Across the country people are increasingly interested in ensuring that government expenditures are well spent. We can note this interest at all levels of government ranging from local to national scales. As well, accountability, in all of its manifestations, is a critical element of the "quality movement" that is becoming acculturated in both the private and public sectors. This article focuses on how local economic development officials can measure and evaluate their professional activities in a ...


The Changing Character Of Economic Development, John R. Mullin Jan 2002

The Changing Character Of Economic Development, John R. Mullin

John R. Mullin

This article lays out several key trends concerning industrial development that I have noted over the past ten years in my consulting practice and academic research. They are not exhaustive nor will they be reflected in all parts of the country. They do, however, point out that we need to continually adapt to the market place; we need to become more pro-active in controlling how and where we stimulate development; we need to insure that we provide the opportunity for industry to succeed; and, finally, we must be reflective of world events and the speed of change.


Historic Preservation In Waterfront Communities In Portugal And The Usa, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Carlos Balsas Dec 1999

Historic Preservation In Waterfront Communities In Portugal And The Usa, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Carlos Balsas

John R. Mullin

Portugal's seaport communities are undergoing substantial change. Once protected by the nation's closed economy and restrictions to cultural adaptation, they are now required to face increased competition, shifting markets, the need for increased efficiency and for new infrastructural systems. In addition to all this, the uses of those seaports need to be examined: will they be centers for fishing, freight activities or have mainly tourist functions? Clearly, the Portuguese seaports of tomorrow will not be the same as they are today. While seaport planners struggle with these issues, it is essential that they identify, protect and enhance those ...


Cosmic Advice For The Young Planner, John Mullin, Robert Mitchell Feb 1998

Cosmic Advice For The Young Planner, John Mullin, Robert Mitchell

John R. Mullin

Last fall, two of New England's oldest planners were sitting on the top of Mount Monadnock when they were approached by a group of graduate students. After a brief spell of friendly conversation, several students asked the wise ones for sage advice on the pitfalls of local planning. With a glint in their eyes and a sense of puckish humor they started to outline forty ways in which a newly minted planner could short circuit his/her career. And so, in what they hope will be taken with a great grain of salt, they listed the following.


Mill Town Roots, John Mullin Feb 1998

Mill Town Roots, John Mullin

John R. Mullin

The end of the 20th century is a good time to check on the progress of the towns where the U.S. industrial revolution began.


The Potential For Planning An Industrial Cluster In Barre, Vermont: A Case Of 'Hard-Rock' Resistance In The Granite Industry, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Jan 1998

The Potential For Planning An Industrial Cluster In Barre, Vermont: A Case Of 'Hard-Rock' Resistance In The Granite Industry, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Throughout the world, there has been considerable interest among economic planners concerning the creation of industrial clusters. Efforts to stimulate, nurture and reinforce such clusters can be found in virtually all of the European nations, as well as in Japan, Korea, China and others. These efforts range from reinforcing the strengths of promising areas to stimulating the creation of totally new technologies. The identification of such clustering opportunities has become a critical element of national, state, regional and local planning activities. While there are many researchers who have focused on this topic, the Harvard Business School's Michael Porter has ...


The Economic Impact Of Housing In Massachusetts, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Jan 1998

The Economic Impact Of Housing In Massachusetts, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Home building generates substantial local economic activity, including income, jobs, and revenue for state and local governments. These far exceed the school costs-to-property-tax ratios. Furthermore, balanced growth, the availability of homes that match the character of the jobs, plays a significant role in attracting sustainable economic development.


Thoughts On Edward Bellamy As City Planner: The Ordered Art Of Geometry, John R. Mullin, Kenneth Payne Aug 1997

Thoughts On Edward Bellamy As City Planner: The Ordered Art Of Geometry, John R. Mullin, Kenneth Payne

John R. Mullin

Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward was one of the most influential books in the evolution of city planning as a profession and field of scholarly inquiry. And yet, upon the hundredth year of his death, this classic is rarely used when examining the roots of the profession. The paper begins by summarizing the book itself: on one level it is a simple novel of the Gilded Age; on another, it provided a vision of the future that indirectly has helped to guide the evolution of the American community. The paper examines the factors that are fundamental in planning and how ...


Assessing The Future Of The New England Mill Town: What Are The Key Factors That Lead To Successful Revitalization?, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Apr 1997

Assessing The Future Of The New England Mill Town: What Are The Key Factors That Lead To Successful Revitalization?, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Over the past twenty years, we have been involved in economic revitalization projects in more than 50 mill towns across the state of Massachusetts. We begin these projects with a quiet visit to each community. Moving off a state or interstate road, we meander down through a highly dense village of multiunit tenements. Built close to the road, they are always a decided mix of well-kept and decaying structures. They are rarely one or the other entirely. It is as if the residents and owners are undecided about reinvestment or commitment to the community.


Contemporary Music And The Manufacturing Region: Reflections On Reality, John Mullin, Tracie Seder Hines Dec 1996

Contemporary Music And The Manufacturing Region: Reflections On Reality, John Mullin, Tracie Seder Hines

John R. Mullin

Despite long odds, some distressed, high unemployment regions in the United States survive, revitalize, and prosper. While there are many reasons for their success, we hypothesize that a strong sense of community helps make bearable the anger, frustration, despair, and irrationality that accompany high job losses in a region.


Bondi's Island: Its Everybody's Problem, John Mullin Jun 1994

Bondi's Island: Its Everybody's Problem, John Mullin

John R. Mullin

Bondi's Island is so pungently smelly that it is a negative influence on where we live, work, play and invest. If we do not correct the problem quickly, the image of our region as a special place will erode dramatically. Further, this problem does not belong to Springfield alone. It is one that requires strong regional and state participation.


A Top Down Perspective Of The Pioneer Valley: The Future Of Our Industrial Base, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Jan 1994

A Top Down Perspective Of The Pioneer Valley: The Future Of Our Industrial Base, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Over the past five years the Center for Economic Development has been actively involved in industrial planning activities in virtually every community in the Valley. At times our work has been as local as developing a zoning amendment for an industrial park or preparing an overall economic development program. At other times it has been focused on broad policy aspects such as Governor Weld's recent initiative on improving our economic posture, or participating in the recovery of the WestMass Development Corporation. Throughout our work on approximately 40 different projects, plans and studies, we have been consistently amazed at the ...


The Value Of Home-Grown Companies, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Jan 1993

The Value Of Home-Grown Companies, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Over the past decade we have been involved in more than fifty economic development projects in cities and towns across the Pioneer Valley. These have ranged from the revitalization of older industrial areas in Springfield, the development of incubator facilities in Chicopee, the reuse of the Waverly Mill in Adams to the siting of a new industrial park in Deerfield. In each case we are almost always questioned about how a community could encourage the next Pratt and Whitney Digital or BMW plant to come to our region. Upon hearing the question, we point out that there are only 1200 ...


Book Review Of The United States In The Global Economy: Challenges And Policy Choices, John Mullin Dec 1992

Book Review Of The United States In The Global Economy: Challenges And Policy Choices, John Mullin

John R. Mullin

Academics who teach either economic development or industrial policy courses struggle to find a core text to support their courses. Typically they borrow material from business, economics, political science, or public policy and blend articles into a reader that is rearely comprehensive and often lacks continuity. For this reason alone, these academics will be quite pleased to learn of John Accordino's new text, The United States in the Global Economy: Challenges and Policy Choices.


The Greenfield Versus Brownfield Debate: A Balanced Approach To Industrial Planning, John R. Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Maureen Moriarty Dec 1992

The Greenfield Versus Brownfield Debate: A Balanced Approach To Industrial Planning, John R. Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Maureen Moriarty

John R. Mullin

Across the United States, mill towns and industrial communities, the "brownfields", have been experiencing rapid disinvestment as manufacturing and service firms increasingly move to suburban industrial parks, the "greenfields". This locational trend has been intensified over the years by our policies and regulations for industrial development. Is this shifting balance a desired result of our policies? The authors believe this trend has had negative effects on both the center cities left behind, as well as on the communities which are being developed. Analysis of the "Greenfield-Brownfield" debate can assist economic development planners in promoting balanced industrial growth. This article analyzes ...


Towards A Vision For The Future: The Need For Growth Management Strategies, John Mullin Dec 1991

Towards A Vision For The Future: The Need For Growth Management Strategies, John Mullin

John R. Mullin

A look at Pennsylvania from a national perspective indeed illustrates that it is the Keystone State. Parts of it are eastern and tied into megalopolis. Indeed, the Lehigh Valley is now part of the Regional Plan of New York. Parts of it are upper-south in character, parts are thrust into the Midwest, and parts are now in the economic sphere of Baltimore and Washington. (I think the fact that most surprised me while I researched this paper was that Gettysburg will be less than thirty minutes away from the new Washington Metro connection in Frederick). What all this points to ...


The Reconstruction Of Lisbon Following The Earthquake Of 1755: A Study In Despotic Planning, John R. Mullin Dec 1991

The Reconstruction Of Lisbon Following The Earthquake Of 1755: A Study In Despotic Planning, John R. Mullin

John R. Mullin

This paper is a description and analysis of the plan for the rebuilding of Lisbon following the earthquake of 1755. This tremor was so devastating that the entire city centre, the Baixa, ceased to exist. From this chaos emerged the Marques de Pombal who, with the approval of the King, immediately brought order and began to develop efforts to create the new Lisbon. The effort first focused upon the development of four options that included rebuilding the city as it was, reconstructing the city with minimal improvements to the street pattern, undertaking a total rebuilding effort or starting fresh on ...


When The Mall Comes To A Small Town: How To Shape Development With Carrots And Sticks, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval Dec 1991

When The Mall Comes To A Small Town: How To Shape Development With Carrots And Sticks, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval

John R. Mullin

Across the United States there is a continuous expansion of population away from our traditional urban center cities. As people have occupied housing in these former open spaces, industrial parks and commercial centers have soon followed. While local planning boards have been able, in most cases, to handle residential and industrial growth, they are rarely able to handle extensive retail growth. Indeed, when a mall developer - complete with a multitalented staff and reams of plans - comes before a small town planning board, there is inevitable shock and a great deal of fear. In our experience, few small towns are ever ...


Trends In Industrial Development, John Mullin Oct 1991

Trends In Industrial Development, John Mullin

John R. Mullin

Zenia Kotval and John Mullin review the key issues involving local land use decisions and industrial development in Massachusetts. They point out that the cumulative impact of town after town discouraging industrial development has resulted in creating a state where land use is a limiting factor for industrial development and growth. Concurring with recent thinking on economic development, the authors take a strong stance that our future economic well being must be based on a mixed economy where industry and manufacturing are a key player.


The Mall Comes To Town: Planning For Its Development, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Edward Murray Jan 1991

The Mall Comes To Town: Planning For Its Development, John Mullin, Zenia Kotval, Edward Murray

John R. Mullin

This article analyzes the impacts of malls on the character and economic base of a community. Based on both applied planning and academic research, it is clear that malls stimulate major changes in the community fabric. It is also apparent that community leaders who have a clear perception that their cities and towns have the potential to attract malls, and prepare for them, will be able to gain far more from their development than those that simply wait and see. The theme of this article, in short, is that a community either plans for a mall or it is planned ...