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Worcester, MA Residents Get the Best of Both Worlds

Worcester offers big-city opportunities, small-city charm.

By Livability on October 8, 2021

Ian Lundie

You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy Polar Park, the new ballpark in Worcester that is one of the symbols of the resurgence that is well under way in this central Massachusetts city. 

The city park, home to the Worcester Red Sox minor league baseball team, is expected to host well over 100 events each year, including family affordable WooSox games, concerts and other events. 

“Worcester is a city on the move,” says City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “Prior to the pandemic, there was a lot of talk about the Worcester renaissance. We think it is alive and well.” 

Bloomberg News ranked Worcester among the Top 10 largest U.S. metro areas best poised to recover from the pandemic. 

Woo Sox Baseball Home Opener
Courtesy of City of Worcester

A Central Massachusetts location and good transit connections to Boston help. So do Worcester’s other strengths like higher education, a vibrant arts scene and affordable housing. 

“There’s just so much to see and do here, from top-notch colleges and a growing life sciences sector to world-class arts and entertainment to a healthy mix of residential living spaces, not to mention the brand-new Polar Park, home of the Boston Red Sox Triple-A minor league affiliate, the Worcester Red Sox, and so much more,” Augustus says. 

Polar Park was developed in conjunction with the redevelopment of the Canal District and is an example of Worcester’s commitment to transforming areas in the heart of the city into flourishing neighborhoods. 

“We aren’t just building but rebuilding with our historic housing stock and repurposing underutilized properties to suit the needs of our business community and residents,” says Mayor Joseph M. Petty. 

Courtesy of City of Worcester

Worcester is home to “major eds and meds” sectors that help anchor the economy. They include nine colleges and universities as well as AbbVie Bioresearch Center. The company, founded in Worcester, developed the breakthrough medication Humira. 

“That strong foundation has fueled a growing life sciences industry with research and development, and now we are leveraging that with the new Reactory Biomanufacturing Park,” Petty says. 

Worcester has a deep talent pool, thanks to the growing number of college students who stay after graduation. The student population includes medical students, master’s degree candidates and post-doctorate professionals who buy homes and send their children to the city’s schools. 

Worcester MA Pride Festival
Courtesy of City of Worcester

The small-business community is also thriving. Nearly a third of those businesses are owned by foreign-born residents. 

“I think for the City of Worcester, it’s about livability and quality of life. We’ve moved the city forward through thoughtful and equitable investments,” Augustus notes. 

“We’ve made improvements in our 60 neighborhood parks, our public education facilities, housing opportunities for all and important transit connections to Boston,” Augustus continues. “Worcester has all the benefits of a large city, with the intimacy and close-knit feeling that comes from a smaller community.” 

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