Master Plan Development Process

Plan Inception

In 2003, the Lowell City Council endorsed the City's first Comprehensive Master Plan in 30 years. Prepared by the City's Division of Planning and Development (DPD) and approved by the Lowell Planning Board, this plan was created to both serve as the "framework for development over the next 20 years and to establish a comprehensive and shared vision for the future."
Aerial view of the City


While the Plan effectively guided the City's development plans and strategy and this vision remains salient for Lowell, much has changed both locally and regionally in the years since its release.

The Hamilton Canal District development is well underway and the University is expanding. Simultaneously, the housing bubble has burst, unemployment rates have risen, and new challenges are emerging. In order for the City of Lowell to continue to plan for the opportunities and challenges that may arise, it is important to update the Master Plan from time to time, as DPD did between 2011-2013.

Current Plan

The result of these changes was Sustainable Lowell 2025, the City's updated Comprehensive Master and Sustainability Plan, which provides a shared vision for the on-going development and revitalization of the City, with particular emphasis on economic, social and environmental sustainability. The document was adopted by the Lowell Planning Board and endorsed by the City Council in March 2013.

Community Participation

DPD utilized several outreach methods throughout the planning process including:
  • Contests
  • Interactive online tool called Community PlanIt.
  • Presentations
  • Public meetings
  • Surveying

Learn more about the outreach process.