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that a traveler has reached Cupples Square. There is no preparation for the entry into this unique neighborhood space.

Interventions Our proposed interventions focus primarily on one block of Westford Street—the block between Loring and Coral Streets. By concentrating on a small area, we hope to make our plan easier to finance and implement. By catalyzing improvements on this block, we hope to spur growth and development in the entire square. Our interventions fall into four categories: creating a zoning overlay district, upgrading the streetscape, installing traffic calming interventions, and promoting small business support programs.

1. Create a zoning overlay district. Our first proposed intervention is to create a zoning overlay district for Cupples Square. A zoning overlay is a tool that allows planners to pay special attention to a district by adding more detail to the current zoning. We believe Cupples Square is worthy of this attention because it is an important neighborhood business center in the Lower Highlands that has potential to develop into a more thriving retail and community space. Cupples Square is currently zoned as a Neighborhood Business District. In order to prevent future growth from completely altering the Square, the uses allowed in the area must be more specifically tailored. The current zoning would allow for a car-wash or drivethrough to be built, which we believe would damage the character of Cupples Square. We recommend that the zoning overlay district should oblige new development to adhere to specific design guidelines, outlined in the following section.

Top: Existing Neighborhood Business Zoning Map Middle: Schematic map of uses and opportunities. Bottom: Boundary for overlay zoning district.

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LOWER HIGHLANDS NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN

Lowell, MA neighborhood plan for the Lower Highlands  

In the Fall of 2009, a team of graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning p...

Lowell, MA neighborhood plan for the Lower Highlands  

In the Fall of 2009, a team of graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning p...

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