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Ben Forman

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Ben Forman


Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston


Rappaport Public Policy Fellow



Rappaport Public Policy Fellows spend 10 weeks each summer serving within the highest levels of state and municipal governments in the Greater Boston Area. The program includes students from graduate and professional programs at local universities.

Graduate School
Trinity College

Vivian Li, Executive director for the Boston Harbor Association

New Bedford, Mayor’s Office

Michael McCormack, Chief of Staff, City of New Bedford

Description of Fellowship
While at the Mayor’s office, Ben worked on a plan to revitalize the downtown area of New Bedford. Ben focused on the Greater Boston Satellite Cities (GBSC) and researched what they had to offer in revitalizing downtown areas and increase housing options. The satellite cities can also gain by cooperating rather than competing for economic development. Compared to large cities like Boston, the GBSCs have few resources to devote towards attracting new employers. Since they offer very similar environments to prospective businesses, they are frequently competing with one another by giving away tax incentives. The winning city often gains very little. If GBSCs work together they could market themselves as a group to industry groups. Sharing their resources would allow them to design more sophisticated sales strategies and promote a more unified image of the advantages of the region’s medium-sized cities. GBSCs can also turn the fact that they have been abandoned by industry into an advantage. The GBSCs are relatively clean and quiet urban environments. They can market this advantage by creating “Green” campaigns. The cities could work together to tailor environmental plans that would generate energy and cost savings for the cities and their residents. These plans could be created by officials from each city working with students studying environmental planning at local universities.