The Next Initiative For Lowell:
Making Our Canals and Rivers Come Alive
Lowell has launched a community planning effort intended to increase the visibility of the Lowell canal system and spark greater public activity along the canals. The innovative and historic waterways that made Lowell known as “The Venice of America” in the 19th century give the city a unique character that sets Lowell apart in its region. While the canals continue as a sustainable energy source, they also have the potential for additional economic, social, cultural, and recreational power. The time is right for the community to direct its attention to the canal system that offers Lowell competitive advantage in developing a distinctive and vibrant urban center where people choose to live, work, learn, create, and play.
The City of Lowell, Lowell Heritage Partnership, and other collaborators will coordinate a grassroots planning process from February to September 2016, including three pilot events at canal locations to demonstrate what is possible. The evens will be produced in association with the First Thursdays downtown business and cultural series. The Lowell City Council voted to install permanent colorful lighting along the Merrimack Canal at Lucy Larcom Park, a huge first step in fulfilling the vision of active life along the canals.
Three working groups will be formed (Culture, Tourism, Economic Development) and meet in early 2016 to begin the planning process. The first sessions are set for Thursday, February 11, 5.30 to 7 pm, at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub, 110 Canal Street in the Hamilton Canal District. To join one of these groups, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the partners and supporters of this project, including the City Manager and City Council of Lowell, Lowell Heritage Partnership, Lowell National Historical Park, UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College, and Mill No. 5.
More photos from the kickoff event can be found here.