The Department of Housing & Community Development’s (DHCD) mission is to strengthen cities, towns and neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life of Massachusetts residents. DHCD works in partnership with regional and local governments, public agencies, community-based organizations and the business community to promote safe, decent affordable housing opportunities, economic vitality of communities and sound municipal government. An innovative and highly effective program advancing the mission of DHCD is the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI). The program provides communities with a range of assistance services to help them revitalize their downtowns. From small grants to hands-on workshops, the goal is to leverage lasting and positive change in the downtowns of communities across the state. The primary mission of the MDI is to make downtown revitalization an integral part of community development in cities and towns.
Harriman provides design and consulting services to downtown areas throughout Massachusetts through this program. The program includes seminars that focus on common issues among the towns and middle-sized cities of Massachusetts as they pursue the revitalization and redevelopment of their traditional centers. Through this program, communities also receive grants that allow Harriman to undertake specific design and planning assignments to unlock the potential within downtown areas. The range of challenges is as varied as the character of the communities, and has included creating streetscape concepts, considering approaches to façade and building improvements, identifying new public/private redevelopment opportunities, untangling parking and traffic problems, and identifying opportunities to create structured parking to reopen the potential for future growth and development.