Rapid Recovery Planning Program
The Rapid Recovery Plan (RRP) program distributed nearly $10 million across 124 communities throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to assess impacts from COVID-19 and develop actionable, project-based recovery plans tailored to the unique economic challenges in downtowns, town centers, and commercial districts. More than a planning effort, the program provided direct technical assistance through plan facilitators assigned to each community applicant as well as a robust program of subject matter experts who provided support for project ideation through best practice webinars and topical compendiums of published case studies, as well as one-on-one consultations with plan facilitators to help guide and refine project recommendations that were aligned with their area of expertise. This helped ensure that all communities benefitted from subject matter expertise regardless of the background or expertise of the plan facilitator they had been assigned.
Plan facilitators utilized the RRP Diagnostic Framework adapted from the IDA award-winning commercial DNA approach as published by the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) in “Preparing a Commercial District Diagnostic” and funded in part by Citi Community Development. In addition to following the RRP Diagnostic framework, plan facilitators and communities were provided a step-by-step guide for collecting baseline data for the Commonwealth across each of the four key areas of analysis to ensure that data collected could be seamlessly aggregated and analyzed in a meaningful way for the Commonwealth. This data is now available in a public dashboard for communities to compare performance against other similar/competitive downtowns. Following the diagnostic, project recommendations were developed through consensus building with communities and refined according to a template rubric designed to align projects with federal and state funding requirements. In total, the program has resulted in nearly 1,000 actionable project recommendations requiring mixed levels of funding, technical assistance, and resources.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Rapid Recovery Planning Program
Commonwealth of Massachusetts with support of Streetsense