Economic Development


Promoting Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration

Jobs. Tax revenue. Businesses. Local products and services.

The benefits of economic growth are many, and Metropolitan Boston needs them.

The challenge is to stimulate and manage economic growth to promote not only prosperity, but also livability: equity, health, sustainability, safety, and a municipality’s unique sense of place and community.

Then, it’s not just economic growth: it’s economic development.

Related Data Sets & Tools


To learn more about MAPC’s Economic Development services, please contact

Betsy Cowan, Chief of Economic Development at

Our Services

MAPC has experience in providing assessment and planning for active town centers, engaging the community, identifying local retail opportunities, and more.

MAPC offers development services rooted in unmatched knowledge of the history, culture, and challenges of each of its 101 cities and towns, identifying each community’s unique strengths, challenges, and concerns. We take a smart-growth based, multidisciplinary approach to help shape policies and plans that promote livable change.

  • Market Analysis (Commercial, Office, and Residential)
  • Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy/Planning
  • Transportation Oriented Developed (TOD) Planning
  • Corridor Planning
  • Zoning to Encourage Economic Development (Mixed Use, TOD, 40R, etc.)
  • Priority Development Site Identification
  • Master Planning

Check out some recent examples below! Interested in working with us? Contact Betsy Cowan at

Work with us

Work with us to find out how we can help strengthen your local economy. Consonant with our public purpose, our service are priced reasonably — some are free of charge.

Click here to learn about submitting a proposal for professional planning services.


Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

MAPC’s 2015 to 2020 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) outlines goals for the region, identifies barriers to economic development, calls out the needs for transportation systems that are adequately financed, and seeks to build on existing strengths in looking toward the future. It incorporates and elaborates on themes of MetroFuture, our regional plan. Read it here.

Please contact Chief of Economic Development Betsy Cowan with any questions.



The Center for Economic Development

The Center for Economic Development is a community-oriented technical assistance and research center based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Partially funded by the Economic Development Administration, the Center’s role is to provide technical assistance to Massachusetts communities, undertake community-based studies, and disseminate information.

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Design Industry Group of Massachusetts (DIGMA)

Design Industry Group of Massachusetts (DIGMA) is a group comprised of leaders from Massachusetts design-based industries that works closely with government, education, and industry sectors to do research on and promote the design sector.

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MetroBoston DataCommon

MetroBoston DataCommon is an online mapping tool that provides immediate access to a wealth of data about cities and towns in Massachusetts. Explore data, print out instant community snapshots or maps, or create your own maps.

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North Shore InnoVentures

North Shore InnoVentures is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to economic development on the North Shore via the nurturing of early-stage companies. NSIV maintains facilities in Cambridge, Lynn, and Beverly.

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The North Shore Technology Council

The North Shore Technology Council is a non-profit business association focused exclusively on serving the needs of technology industries and companies which are located or are active north-of-Boston.

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The Venture Development Center

The Venture Development Center is a managed business incubator, located at and sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston, for early-stage ventures from within and outside the university.

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Union Square Main Streets

Union Square Main Streets is a community-based economic revitalization program in Somerville that provides merchants and community residents with the tools to advance the community's redevelopment.

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Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems

Located on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the MIT-Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems is an applied research and development laboratory dedicated to serving the research needs of the sustainable energy industry.

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The Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts works with faculty on all five UMass campuses to produce high-level economic and public policy research. The results of this research are disseminated as free-standing research reports and through MassBenchmarks, the journal of the Massachusetts economy published in cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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MassChallenge's goal is to create a renaissance of business startup activity across all the regions of Massachusetts by catalyzing collaboration and commercialization via a Venture Funds Competition. A Venture Funds Competition combines the collaborative, educational and catalytic impact of a business plan competition with the business and job creation of a seed fund.

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Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development: DHCD’s mission is to strengthen cities, towns, and neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life of Massachusetts residents. It provides leadership, professional assistance, and financial resources to promote community and economic development.

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Massachusetts Office of Business Development

Massachusetts Office of Business Development is a state agency committed to assisting companies who want to locate, expand, grow, or maintain a presence in Massachusetts. Their staff contact list offers a starting point for inquiry.

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Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute

Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Institute is a cooperative venture between the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to promote sustainable fisheries through education and research.

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New England Economic Indicators

The New England Economic Indicators database is a service of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. This interactive database provides current and historical economic data for the six states in the first Federal Reserve District: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, RhodeIsland, and Vermont.

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ReadyMass 100

ReadyMass 100 is an interactive database intended to help relocating and growing companies identify commercial or industrial facilities in Massachusetts that meet their specific needs.

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Economic Development Administration

Economic Development Administration is a federal agency that offers investment assistance to attract private capital investment and creating higher-skill, higher-wage jobs in communities that are suffering from economic distress. Investments are focused on locally-developed, regionally-based economic development initiatives.

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U.S. Census Bureau:

American FactFinder is an online, interactive source for nationwide population, housing, economic and geographic data.

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