The primary mission of the MDI is to make downtown revitalization an integral part of community development in cities and towns across the Commonwealth. MDI's guiding principles are that the most effective approach to downtown revitalization is a holistic one; that it addresses economic and community development needs; and that it provides a framework of interrelated activities that promote positive change in a downtown to keep it healthy and prosperous.
Successful downtown revitalization is comprehensive and includes a well-balanced community strategy composed of seven downtown building blocks:
* Encouraging Community Involvement & Ownership;
* Preserving & Enhancing Downtown Character;
* Ensuring Economic Vitality;
* Promoting Downtown Assets;
* Getting Into & Around Downtown;
* Living Downtown; and,
* Keeping Downtown Safe.
Currently, MDI provides assistance through the following components:
- Desktop Technical Assistance
- Ongoing technical assistance on downtown-related issues is provided by staff via telephone, fax, and written materials based on requests from communities as well as referrals from DHCD staff. Recent requests have included how to develop business recruitment programs, upper story spaces, and downtown organizational bylaws.
Education and Training
MDI is charged with development of downtown education and training opportunities that meet the needs of communities at various stages of downtown revitalization. A series of workshops is held each year on topics such as business recruitment and retention, design issues, creating a business improvement district, or upper-story housing.
Eligibility requirements vary among program components and restrictions may apply. The TA Site Visit Program is restricted to non-entitlement CDBG communities.
Technical Assistance Grantees
Design: Town of Auburn
Design: Town of Holliston
District Management: Town of Hudson
Economics of Downtown: Town of Middleborough
Economics of Downtown: City of Saugus
Economics of Downtown: Town of Stoughton
Parking: City of Beverly
Parking: Town of Essex
Parking: Town of Sturbridge
Parking: Town of Stoneham
Small Business Support: City of Agawam
Wayfinding: Town of Wellesley
Wayfinding: City of Woburn