In June 2020, the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (DWBID) began a planning project focused on placemaking* and beautification* of Downtown Worcester during the COVID-19 recovery and long term.


Civic Space Collaborative, a Massachusetts placemaking firm, was brought on to create a work plan that includes enhanced landscaping, streetscape improvements to improve walkability, enhanced and decorative lighting, parking directional signage, banners, storefront activation, destination events, art/cultural programming, and artist-designed activities.


We will engage key partners, business owners, and local leaders throughout the process through interviews, committee meetings, and focus groups. 


In addition, input from the public is critical to ensuring downtown is welcoming to everyone.


As part of this project, we created a survey to engage the public on how we might enhance Downtown Worcester through beautification*, placemaking*, and public art projects.  More than 250 people responded to the survey, including 63% who identified as living in Worcester and 69% who identified as working in Worcester.  The results are helping us to create a comprehensive plan to make Downtown Worcester into a more welcoming, attractive, and vibrant place. Thank you to all who took the survey!


Beautification: Adding planters, trees, banners, and on-street amenities to improve the look and overall experience in an area. 


Placemaking: A process to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in the transformation of public spaces into destinations that help improve people's quality of life, health, and social connections.​

Steering Commitee

Steering Committee Chair

Mary Simone, AC Hotel Worcester


Steering Committee Members

Libis Bueno, Domitek

Evelyn Darling, Downtown Worcester BID

Lisa Drexhage, Worcester Business Development Corporation & POW! WOW! Worcester

Julie Holstrom, Worcester Business Development Corporation

Robyn Kennedy, YWCA Central Massachusetts

Andrew McShane, Downtown Worcester BID

Paul Morano, The Menkiti Group

Brenda Nikas-Hayes, ArtsWorcester & POW! WOW! Worcester

Chip Norton, Franklin Realty Advisors

Krissy Pomerleau, 145 Front at City Square

Penn Ruderman, Office of Penn Ruderman Architects

Linnea Sheldon, Worcester Public Library

Troy Siebels, Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Hank von Hellion, Worcester PopUp at the JMAC

Erin Williams, City of Worcester & Worcester Cultural Coalition

Margaret Wong, Massachusetts Community College Council