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Urban Land Institute Study: Implementing Downtown’s Future

In an effort to help the Nantucket community and local leaders address specific planning challenges in building a more sustainable downtown, Remain engaged with the Urban Land Institute (ULI)—a nonprofit educational and research institution with 40,000 members nationwide, including architects, engineers, land developers, planners and urban designers. In October 2008, a nine-person ULI Advisory Panel traveled to Nantucket and spent a week conducting research and interviewing more than 200 islanders on topics of traffic congestion, parking and summer and year-round business conditions.


Questions included What currently is the function of Nantucket’s downtown relative to the rest of the island and what should it be in the future? What does a vibrant year-round downtown look and feel like given the island’s seasonal economic cycles? What uses, services and institutions need to be downtown for it to be part of the daily lives of both year-round and summer residents? How can downtown best complement the Mid-island area where many people now conduct most of their commercial activities of daily living and vice versa? What strategies and opportunities arise from seasonality? What are the barriers to coming to downtown and how do we get around them?


The collected responses and investigative research informed a comprehensive report that identified the key challenges Nantucket was experiencing at the time and offered a roadmap forward for how to address those challenges. The input collected from community members shaped ULI’s recommendations about how best to strengthen downtown Nantucket in their presentation and final report. Many parts of this report served as a guide to Remain’s foundational work during its formative years.


Urban Land Institute 2008 Nantucket Massachusetts Advisory Services Panel Report