Spotlight: Leominster, MABackground
The looming fiscal crisis confronting municipal government in the U.S., combined with drastic anticipated cuts in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and other programs, will severely strain the capacity of distressed cities to address the problems of urban poverty, joblessness, economic revitalization and delivery of essential services. In addition, the difficulties in meeting critical short-term needs with less staff and constrained budgets leaves municipalities with an acutely limited capacity to plan strategically for mid- and long-term economic development.
I2UD is assessing whether it could apply its international urban planning experience to U.S. cities and help build the capacity of local governments in New England cities to function in an uncertain future. Our goal is to empower local governments and other organizations to provide the essential services to their communities—particularly in those cities that suffer from poverty, economic decline and disinvestment. New England cities reflect the broader national crisis and serve as relevant case studies for other American cities.
In the first phase of the project, we are: