An Assessment of the Neighborhood Retail Environment in Union Square, Somerville.
Abstract: Once the centers for social interactions and economic activity, commercial corridors suffer economic hardship precipitated by retail competition, high vacancy rates, and a poor mix of retail tenants. These commercial areas define the neighborhood's character and have the potential to enhance its overall attractiveness, to revitalize them help to serve resident needs and strength the ... read moreeconomy. The purpose of this thesis is to assess the conditions of the commercial district in Somerville's Union Square, and provide useful information to create a well-balanced profile of retail and service that ensures future's prosperity. Union Square will be revitalized by a large and long-term civic, residential, and commercial development project, partly motivated by the increase of light rail service. This study analyzes historic business inventories, physical conditions, business district's composition, and the social context in the Square including the residents' perspective on the commercial area. Among the key findings are that professional services and food related establishments are still predominant in the Square. Even thought residents recognize that several types of businesses are missing to generate pedestrian traffic and drop-in customers, they are concerned that future development plans considerable change the community assets that they already have.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.
Advisor: Weiping Wu.
Committee: Peg Barringer.
Keyword: Urban planning.read less
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