Urban Update 
The monthly newsletter of the UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative
March 2012
The Urban Initiative got an early taste of spring when we attended the National Dropout Prevention Center's 24th Annual At-Risk Youth National Forum in Myrtle Beach, SC.

We're really excited about the lessons we learned and the people we met, and we're not about to keep that enthusiasm to ourselves. Which is why we've devoted a series of blog posts to the purpose of recapping NDPC conference highlights. All posts will go live this week, so if you're not following our blog, now is a good time to do so! 

Another thing we're really excited about is a recent article published in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Spring 2012 issue of Communities & Banking. "The Need for Financial Education in New Bedford" was written by Dr. Michael Goodman and the UMass Dartmouth Policy Analysis Research Team (which included Urban Initiative staff Colleen Dawicki and Hannah Colestock). This original research has implications for many of our newsletter readers, so we hope you'll check it out!  
The Urban Initiative continues to be in the midst of the projects we've reported on in past newsletters (evaluating Taunton's HOPE VI project, looking at educational collaboration, and working with UMass Dartmouth students on a number of local projects, to name a few). 

But we expect to issue at least one report this month, so be sure to keep an eye on our blog, Twitter feed, and website. And check back next month for the launch of our next endeavor! 
From the blog:

Urban Update is being dominated by posts about the NDPC conference this week, but here are some other stories to check out:

  • How walkable is your neighborhood? Research has shown that properties in walkable neighborhoods have higher values, while residents in these communities are more physically fit. Learn how to get your neighborhood's WalkScore and what can be done to promote walkability by reading this blog post.  
  • Spring's arrival means sighs of relief for New England municipalities whose budgets are so often strained by snowfall. Guest blogger Chris Nunes (an MPP grad and current budget analyst) gives a wonk's take on the impact of snowfall removal costs and offers some suggestions for making this kind of budgeting more transparent.

Want to be a guest blogger for Urban Update? Email us

Upcoming Events

What: "Make meetings work for you" (The basics of meeting facilitation)

When: Wednesday, 3/7 from 9:00-12:00p

Where: The Rhode Island Foundation 

Cost: $15

Click here for more information.

What: South Coast Bikeway Presentation: a workshop on the nuts and bolts of building a bicycle-friendly community   

When: Wednesday, 3/14 from 5:30-7:30p   

Where: Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School (1121 Ashley Blvd, New Bedford)

Cost: Free

What: 2012 Nonprofit Collaboration and Shared Services Forum (Sponsored by the United Way of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Foundation, New Roots Providence and the Harvard Business School Association)

When: Friday, 3/23 from 8:00-1:00p   

Where: Providence Marriott Downtown, One Orms Street, Providence

Cost: $15

To learn more click here. 


What: 'Designing Play That Matters: Community PlanIt and the Boston Public Schools.' How a web-based social network helped city stakeholders from parents to administrators design standards for measuring school performance.
Tuesday, 3/27 at 5:30p

Where: Malkin Penthouse, 4th floor, Littauer Building, 79 John F. Kennedy Street

More information available here. 


Want your upcoming event listed? Email us!

Grant & technical assistance opportunities

Causality Brand Grant

Deadline: March 30, 2012


Causality helps nonprofits nationwide with branding, marketing, and communications. They're currently accepting applications from organizations who could use support with projects like web development, messaging, fundraising communications, and social media campaigns. Apply here.    


ArtistLink Challenge Grants
Deadline: April 13, 2012 (intent to apply)


The ArtistLink Initiative will award up to four Artist Space Challenge Grants to Massachusetts municipalities. The Challenge Grant will provide funds to MA cities and towns interested in integrating artist space into community development strategies. Click for application info.


 United Way Mini-Grants

Deadline: April 13, 2012


The United Way of Greater New Bedford is accepting applications for its community building mini-grants program. Only all-volunteer organizations are eligible, and all applicants must attend an orientation workshop. Details here.  

Know of any other upcoming opportunities we should share? Email us!
Job opportunities

Fundraising Professional, The Marion Institute     

Where: Marion, MA  


Working closely with the Executive Director and the Board, the Fundraising Professional will be responsible for shaping and executing the overall MI approach to generating financial support. Learn more here.  


Director of Public Health, City of New Bedford   

Where: New Bedford, MA


Works under the policy direction of the board of health to To provide for the protection of the public's health, control of disease, promotion of sanitary living conditions, and protection of the environment from damage and pollution. Learn more here.


Manager and Assistant Manager: Deputy Commissioner of Public Works/Solid Waster Operations, City of Fall River, City of Fall River

Where: Fall River, MA  


Under the Direction of the Director of Community Maintenance, the Manager/Assistant Manager shall supervise and coordinate the activities and operations of the streets/ highways & sanitation divisions of the Department of Community Maintenance. Learn more here.  


Make sure to check out our blog, which has many more job opportunities than those featured here. And let us know if you have an opportunity to share!

In this issue:
From the blog
Grant opportunities

 What is the Urban Initiative?

The Urban Initiative at UMass Dartmouth is a division of the Center for Policy Analysis that was established in 2007 to address challenges and opportunities in the region's smaller industrial cities, with a particular emphasis on nearby communities like Fall River and New Bedford.  


In addition to conducting applied research, evaluating programs and policies, facilitating collaborations, and providing technical assistance to cities and organizations therein, the Urban Initiative serves as a knowledge base for urban policy issues and their applications in the region. 

 Who is the Urban Initiative?

Since August 2011, Colleen Dawicki has served as Project Manager of the Urban Initiative. A New Bedford resident and SouthCoast native, Dawicki earned a B.A. in Public and Private Sector Organizations from Brown University in 2006 and is working toward her Master's of Public Policy (MPP) at UMass Dartmouth.


Hannah Colestock is the UI's Graduate Research Assistant. Also a student in the MPP program, Hannah earned a B.A in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of New Hampshire in 2009.   


The Urban Initiative team works closely with David Borges, Associate Director of the Center for Policy Analysis, who has over fifteen years of experience working on regional public policy issues.

              Read this:

We just picked up Small, Gritty, and Green: America's Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World, and we think you should too! Catherine Tumber's book makes a strong case for a renewed focus on the role of cities like Fall River and New Bedford, which is a case we can get behind.   

             Watch this:


We've been talking a lot about walkability this month, so check out this clip from the BBC called "How to get America to walk." It features a great signage project in Raleigh that we'd love to see replicated locally!

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Contact us!

Email: urbaninitiative@umassd.edu

285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Website: http://www.umassd.edu/urbaninitiative/