Public Visioning Workshop Planned for City’s Upper Harbor

Planning for Sustainable and Responsible Economic Growth
New Bedford Economic Development Council

New Bedford’s upper harbor, north of Coggeshall Street, is home to one of the most intact collections of historic mill buildings and environmental beauty to be found anywhere. While the working waterfront’s piers and wharves have always been critical to New Bedford’s whaling and fishing industries, historically the upper river has been ignored as a significant asset for public access and future development.
New planning for this area, the Upper Harbor Development District, will focus on how key assets: the river, historic mills, and adjacent neighborhoods, can be linked together for sustainable and responsible economic and community growth. New development can balance mill redevelopment for new industries, public access to the water, and a stronger natural environment. The City of New Bedford, MassDevelopment, and the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC) have partnered together to undertake this comprehensive and community based planning effort.
This plan will be developed in two phases. The first phase is the community-visioning workshop, which will provide an initial understanding of key issues and opportunities presented by the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor Development District.
To begin this process a public visioning workshop will be held on February 15th and 16th at the Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Corporation located at 689 Belleville Avenue. The workshop will be kicked-off at 6:00pm on the evening of Friday, February 15th, with a presentation of the community boathouse concept that has been designed by MIT architecture and urban design graduate students. The visioning workshop will take place on Saturday, February 16th, from 8:00am-3:00pm. All are invited to participate and ample parking is available.
This analysis will inform the second phase of this planning effort: the development of a comprehensive district plan that reflects the visioning process towards the goal of implementation. The Garfield Foundation has awarded a grant to the NBEDC to support the second phase planning and community outreach.
“This visioning workshop offers an opportunity for all stakeholders in this area of the city to get together and begin the conversation about how sustainable development can work for the upper harbor,” New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang said. He continued, “We will continue to incorporate community-based planning activities in the ongoing process to develop a city wide master plan.”
Matthew Morrissey, Executive Director of the New Bedford Economic Development Council, added, “These crucial community planning efforts provide the foundation for responsible growth and development that leads to job creation for New Bedford residents. The partnership between the City of New Bedford, MassDevelopment, and the NBEDC delivers value that we could not achieve on our own.”
The planning and urban design firm Goody Clancy will be facilitating the visioning workshop and developing the plan. Interested participants are encouraged to RSVP with the NBEDC. Please contact Deidra Jarvis at (508) 991-3122 ext. 10, or by email at

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