1st Downtown Forum

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First Downtown Forum: Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 6:00 pm - Woodbury Room, Jones Library

On Thursday evening, June 29, 2017, the Amherst Select Board, Planning Board and Town Manager hosted a community forum to talk about Downtown Amherst.  Held in the Woodbury Room of the Jones Library, the forum was a great success with 96 people in attendance.  Residents, business people, workers and others discussed what they love about Downtown and what needs to be improved. 

Gathered at tables in groups of 8 to 10, people marked on maps to show favorite places with stickers and notes.  People drew on maps to indicate their perceptions of where Downtown Amherst is located and where its edges are.  People talked to each other about the qualities of downtown that they value and aspects that need improving.  People discussed what it’s like to live, work and play in Downtown Amherst.  Comments were shared with the group as a whole. 

The materials gathered from the forum are posted here.  Materials will be analyzed and the results will form the basis of future forums on Downtown Amherst, currently planned for early and late fall 2017.

For those who were not able to attend the forum we have posted the activities and maps to enable people to see and hear what was said.

Materials from Downtown Forum

Video of Forum (Amherst Media)

First Downtown Planning Forum Agenda

First Downtown Planning Forum Flyer

First Downtown Planning Forum Press Release

Exercise #1 – Places of the Heart – People gathered at tables were asked to mark (with red stickers) places in the Downtown that they love, “places of the heart”.  The results of this exercise are posted below.

Exercise 1 Large Format and 11x17 Maps 

Exercise #2 –   What qualities of the downtown do you value? & What aspects of the downtown need improving? – People listed and discussed qualities of value and aspects needing improving? The results of this exercise are posted below.

Exercise 2 Submissions (typed and formatted by staff)

Exercise 2 Newsprint Sheets

Exercise 2 Additional Notes

Exercise 2 - Table 8 Notes

Exercise #3 – What area best defines what you think of as the Downtown?

 People drew with markers and pens on aerial photographs of the town center to show what they think of as Downtown Amherst.  Results were widely varied. 

Exercise 3 Large Format and 11x17 Maps

Exercise #4 – Discussion of the following aspects of downtown life:  What’s working, what’s not and what ideas do you have for the future?  People gathered at tables and discussed the following:

  • Living
  • Working
  • Playing

in Downtown Amherst. 

Exercise 4 Submissions (typed and formatted by staff)

Exercise 4 Newsprint Sheets

Exercise 4 Additional Notes

Exercise 4 - Table 8 Notes

Closing Questions & Comments (typed and formatted by staff)

Closing Questions & Comments

Online Comment Submission

Online comment submission for the first forum has closed. Responses are included in the typed-up documents above.