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About Worcester

Worcester, Massachusetts is at the heart of the Prevention Research Center at UMass Chan's research. Worcester is located in Central Massachusetts and is home to a diverse, growing population of an estimated 206,518 residents, 8 colleges or universities, and thriving businesses. Whether it’s catching the latest event at the DCU Center, sampling the restaurants on Shrewsbury Street, visiting new galleries at the Worcester Art Museum, tuning into great music at The Palladium, watching broadway shows at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, or watching the Worcester Red Sox (WooSox) play at Polar Park which has become the centerpiece of a revitalized Canal district, Worcester houses exciting & fun attractions. You're sure to find something to enjoy!

Worcester offers a great opportunity to own or rent, raise a family or live independently. Worcester is a city that offers the best of both large and small cities with its affordable housing (average housing price is lower than the Massachusetts average; quality public schools; booming higher education sector; access to diverse culture, sports, restaurants and entertainment; and reliable local and regional transportation.

Worcester is currenlty undergoing a Downtown Urban Revitalization Plan that has many current and upcoming projects underway including:

  • Polar Park - The City of Worcester and Worcester Red Sox are in their second season at Polar Park. They plan to build upon the successes of the first season and expect many great things.
  • Summit Street - The completion of Summit Street also marked the completion of the WooSox Loop, nearly a half-mile loop circumnavigating the ballpark which has already been utilized by local 5K walk events. There are also five active retail vendors in the Summit Street terraces.
  • Rockland Trust (Pickett) Plaza - The plaza provides a pedestrian connection from the Green Street Bridge along the new Canal Street and Summit Street entrance of Polar Park. The plaza also features a 90-foot replica of a canal as an homage to the district, complete with a fountain.
  • Madison Properties - They broke ground on the first market-rate residential building in summer 2021. The development plan includes a second residential building of at least 125 market-rate units, a hotel and a lab and office building. They are also leasing the new 340-space parking garage across from Polar Park on Green Island Boulevard.
  • Boston Capital's Table Talk Lofts - Boston Capital is working on a mixed-use and mixed-income residential development plan, which will include retail space. They are also re-instituting a former public street known as Spruce Street which bisects the site from Green Street to Washington Street.
  • The Cove - The Cove is a mixed-use, market-rate residential construction project consisting of 173-units with commercial retail on the first-floor.

Unfortunately, not everyone is sharing in the City’s success. More than a fifth, including 30% of children, live below the federal poverty line. Almost 60% of Worcester public school students are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and Worcester is among 20 U.S. metropolitan areas with greatest growth in concentrated poverty.

Recognizing these challenges, the PRC at UMas Chan is an important part of collaborative efforts to promote public health among people who live, work and play in Worcester. Under the leadership of the Worcester Division of Public Health (WDPH), UMass Memorial, Fallon Health and the Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester, the community created the collaborative Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement Plan to improve the health of the community. The PRC at UMass Chan contributes to this effort, particularly through partnership with WDPH in implementing Greater Worcester Regional Youth Health Survey and evaluating its REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) project to improve the health and lives of Latinos.

Our research also seeks to address real-world challenges in Worcester, such as Healthy Kids & Families.

Please visit our website to learn more about his work, and Destination Worcester site to learn more about our dynamic community.