Report title: Corridor of Opportunity 

Author(s): Colleen Dawicki, Michael P. McCarthy, Trevor Mattos, and Jason Wright

Report date: December 2014

Sponsor: Garfield Foundation

Services: survey research, economic analysis, demographic and socioeconomic analysis

Issue areas: economic development, community development, Gateway Cities


New Bedford’s Acushnet Avenue commercial corridor is poised to enter a renaissance. The nonprofit sector and local and state government have invested in revitalizing the corridor through public infrastructure improvements, branding efforts, and capacity building in the community. There is a strong foundation upon which sustained, measurable neighborhood change can occur. However, long-term stagnation fueled a negative perception of the area and neighborhood stakeholders lack objective data to make the case otherwise.

Recognizing this need, the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth engaged with local stakeholders to study the economic impact of the neighborhood’s businesses through a grant from the Garfield Foundation. Our study documents the roles residents, businesses, and place play in driving the economy of this neighborhood. We base our findings on a series of informant interviews with business owners, a review of relevant literature on the issues they identified, and an analysis of previous studies conducted on the neighborhood by the city of New Bedford. We hope that the findings presented here can be used by advocates for the neighborhood to make the case for future investment and assist local officials in data based decision-making.

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