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The Future of the Gateway Cities

A panel discussion, moderated by Marty Jones, CEO of MassDevelopment.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

6:30 pm

BSA Space, 290 Congress Street, Boston, MA


In the past, the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts offered residents good jobs and a “gateway” to the American Dream. Manufacturing jobs have disappeared, and social and economic challenges have stymied the Gateway Cities. However, these cities have many desirable assets, such as transportation connections; walkable downtowns and neighborhoods; and museums, universities, and other institutions. What is the future of these midsize urban centers? How have the policies of the Patrick Administration, the state legislature, and the mayors and planning offices of the various cities changed the Gateway Cities in recent years? And how will these urban centers continue to evolve?


The panelists are:


  • Marty Jones, CEO, MassDevelopment: Marty Jones became MassDevelopment’s first female president and CEO in May 2011. She has set new priorities for the Agency, the Commonwealth’s quasi-public economic-development authority, to leverage its investments in focusing on promoting affordable housing, protecting the state’s six military installations, and creating new opportunities in advanced manufacturing.

  • Ben Forman, Research Director, MassInc.: Ben Forman's public policy research background includes a concentration in urban policy, economic development strategies and housing policies.  He is the lead researcher and program co-lead for MassINC's Gateway Cities program. He coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports.

  • Marcos Marrero, Director of Planning & Economic Development, City of Holyoke: Marcos Marrero has served the Governor of Puerto Rico as Deputy Advisor on Federal Affairs, Energy & Climate Change and as a Policy Analyst on his Transition Committee for Education. Marcos also served as the Chief of Staff of the New York City Energy Policy Office at the City’s Economic Development Corporation, where he oversaw the City’s clean energy plans and has been a Land Use and Environmental Planner at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

  • Theresa Park, Planning Director, City of Lawrence: Theresa Park is the planning director for the City of Lawrence. Previously, she served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Lowell. She has worked in economic and community development for public, non-profit and private sector entities in municipalities and regions throughout eastern Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. and California. Her interest in entrepreneurship as a major driver of economic development stems from her cumulative experience working with start-ups and existing businesses and understanding the crucial role they play in creating jobs and financial stability, ultimately leading to the well being of individuals, families and the community as a whole.