Imagine 2050: A Vision for Central Massachusetts

by | Sep 15, 2021

The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) is excited to announce the launch of Imagine 2050: A Vision for Central Massachusetts. A region-wide comprehensive planning initiative, Imagine 2050 will establish long-range strategies for the 40-community region. Working with residents, business owners, governments, and institutional partners, CMRPC will facilitate development of the community-driven plan. The project aims to identify the resources, problems, possibilities, and needs of the region; these findings will inform a plan to improve the welfare and prosperity of those who live, work, and visit Central Massachusetts.

Imagine 2050 is intended to help local, regional, and state actors make informed public policy and investment decisions. Community needs and preferences will be identified through robust community engagement processes. Recommendations will derive from community surveys, listening and visioning sessions, data and trend analysis, and scenario planning. This represents the region’s first comprehensive planning effort in more than 20 years.

In 2000, CMRPC released the CMRPC Development Framework, a regional plan for population, infrastructure, environment, and economy. Imagine 2050 updates this framework and incorporates other timely and cross-cutting topics, including: social equity, land use and housing, civic and municipal capacity, environment, economic development, mobility, and public safety.

While Imagine 2050 is just getting underway, prior planning efforts help set the stage. A long-range transportation plan (Mobility 2040) is in place. The Southern Worcester County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (2019) is in the implementation phase. Land Use for Regional Resilience, a region-wide land use and zoning analysis, is ongoing. CMRPC youth planners recently completed We Hear You(th), the first regional plan focused on the Central Massachusetts’ young people. Sub-regional plans covering all constituencies date within the last 10 years. Imagine 2050 will update and synthesize prior efforts, with community in a front and central role.

At CMRPC’s September Quarterly Commission Meeting, Executive Director Janet A. Pierce called on residents and other stakeholders to get involved: “Imagine 2050 is an opportunity to help define the future of Central Massachusetts. If you love where you live, you should participate. If there are things you would like to see changed about the region, you should participate. Whether you live in heart of Worcester or the heart of New Braintree, we are asking for your insights and your preferences. Please join us in charting a path for all of Central Massachusetts.”

About the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission: CMRPC is the designated planning entity for Central Massachusetts. Founded by the Legislature in 1963, CMRPC provides a variety of planning services to our constituencies and bring a regional perspective to planning and development. One of 13 Regional Planning Agencies in Massachusetts, CMRPC serves the City of Worcester and 39 surrounding communities in the southern two-thirds of Worcester County. CMRPC’s programs include Regional Collaboration and Community Planning, Transportation, Homeland Security, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and other services.

For more information on future opportunities to participate, please email CMRPC at or visit the Imagine 2050 website at