Disaster Preparedness • Economic Recovery • Resilience

Strengthening Downtown for Economic Resilience, City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island Technical Assistance Report

This 2015 report of Strengthening Downtown outlines the findings of the technical assistance to the City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) was able to complete this technical assistance with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

The recommendations in the report are the product of an intensive technical assistance process that began with several weeks of background research on the City of Pawtucket that was subsequently presented  to a panel of  experts from throughout the country. After this briefing, the panel visited the City of Pawtucket for a three-day site visit on February 24-27, 2015 to meet with stakeholders to examine the current economic development climate and downtown-based strategies and initiatives. At the end of the visit, the panel presented preliminary recommendations to local stakeholders. These recommendations are incorporated and expanded upon in this report.

The IEDC team found that the City of Pawtucket and their downtown face many challenges in economic development. These challenges were addressed with recommendations in the final report with a goal to grow the downtown and Pawtucket economy while building economic resilience to future disasters. The challenges and recommendations in the report are organized in the report in the following focus areas:

  • Develop an Economic Strategy
  • Rethink Downtown
  • Enhancing Marketing: Tell Your Story
  • Define Roles, Develop Partnerships
  • Activate Tools and Techniques
  • Signal the Change

The IEDC technical assistance panel included:

  • Christine Butterfield, Senior Management Advisor, Management Partners Inc San Jose, CA
  • Jane Jenkins, President & CEO, Downtown Oklahoma City, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK
  • Catherine Timko, Principal, The Riddle Company, Washington, D.C.
  • Richard Ward, Principal, Ward Development Counsel, LLC, Saint Louis, MO
  • Sarah Garcia, AICP – Washington, DC
  • Scott Annis, IEDC, Economic Development Specialist, IEDC, Washington, DC

 Click here to download the full report. 


Acknowledgements

This technical assistance project was funded through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), Economic Adjustment Assistance Project No. 08-79-04593. The grant is focused on longterm economic recovery of FY2011 disaster-impacted communities and regions in the EDA Philadelphia office region. The statements, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and other data in this report are solely those of IEDC and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

IEDC would like to acknowledge Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) for their donation of software. IEDC would also like to acknowledge Southwest Airlines, a community partner, for flying team members to the site visit.