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Glossary of Terms

Adaptive Re-Use - A use for a structure or landscape other than its originally intended use, normally entailing some modification of the structure or landscape.

Affordable Space - Affordable dwelling or working units available at below market rates. In general, affordable space typically refers to rental housing that is within the financial means of people in the lower income ranges of a geographical area. The existence of affordable space can be the product of government regulation or the creation of a public good by the private sector. The need for affordable space is typically attributed to high demand for space, which drives up the cost of renting and/or owning, particularly when coupled with non-traditional employment and income patterns.

Artist Certification - At the municipal level, the city can require that all artist units allowed under any special zoning have a restriction put on the deed that only allows artists, approved by a certification process, to live and work in certain units allowed under the zoning. 

Artist Space Development (ASD) - Spaces for artists to live and/or work that are affordable, constructed to meet the special needs of their medium or craft, designed to create or enhance artists  communities, and stimulate the production of innovative art work (e.g. live/work space, studios, affordable housing for artists, and artist-run multipurpose spaces).

Brownfields - Abandoned, idled or under-utilized industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination, as identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Business Improvement District (BID) - A defined area within which businesses pay an additional tax or fee in order to fund improvements within the district's boundaries. BIDs provide services(i.e. streets, providing security, making capital improvements,  marketing the area, etc.) which are supplemental to those already provided by the municipality.

Capital - Resources, wealth, or assets.

  • Economic Capital - Synonymous with money or other investments and assets that can be converted into cash (e.g. real estate value or rent). Economic capital should not be confused with economic good, a product or service that can secure a price when sold.
  • Social Capital - The resources created by human interaction and connection, including trust, mutual understanding, and shared values.
  • Political Capital - The power and resources created through activities that build relationships (e.g. persuasion).
  • Cultural/creative Capital - Skills, knowledge, and human intellectual achievement.

Capital Flow - The movement of investments/wealth/assets in and out of a nation, region, or locality.

Certified Local Governments (CLG) - A preservation partnership between local, state and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the grass roots level. The program provides preservation assistance and grants to communities who have passed laws to encourage preservation of historic places and have set up a commission of qualified citizens to advise on the preservation of local historic resources.

Chapter 40R - In Massachusetts, The Smart Growth Zoning Overlay District Act, Chapter 149 of the Acts of 2004, codified as M.G.L. chapter 40R (the Act), encourages communities to create dense residential or mixed-use smart growth zoning districts, including a high percentage of affordable housing units, to be located near transit stations, in areas of concentrated development such as existing city and town centers, and in other highly suitable locations.

Charrette - A meeting that brings together experts to develop ideas on how to improve a natural and/or cultural resource. The outputs of their efforts are maps and designs that offer solutions to such issues as preservation, access and use, interpretation, development, etc.

Clustering - The phenomenon of companies and people locating themselves in close geographic proximity in order to stimulate innovative activity, exploit multiplier effects (particularly those in the economic realm), as well as use and benefit from services and enterprises that arise to support the cluster.

Collaborator - For Mass Cultural Council purposes, collaborators are those who are involved in various aspects of a cultural district or community project’s activities, but are not involved in the decision making process for the district/project.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - A program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that funds local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

Community Development Corporation (CDC) - A geographically based non-profit organization that provides services and programming to benefit, empower, and promote its community.

Community Preservation Act (CPA) - In Massachusetts, a tool to help communities preserve open space and historic sites, and create affordable housing and recreational facilities.

Conservation District - Locally designated areas in which regulations for alteration or removal apply only to specific historic buildings within the boundary.

Cooperative (co-op or coop) - In general, a cooperative is a jointly owned, democratically controlled enterprise or business venture. Housing cooperatives, by extension, are a legal entity (usually a corporation) that owns real estate meant for the purpose of providing residences for shareholders.

Creative Economy - The sector that produces and distributes cultural goods, services, and intellectual property. This includes, but is not limited to, the many interlocking industry sectors that center on providing creative services, such as advertising, architecture, arts, film, computer games, multimedia, or design.

Creative Industries - In general, creative industries are a set of service enterprises that engage in economic activities originating in individual skill, creativity, and talent that have the potential for wealth and job creation.

Cultural Enterprises - Arts-, culture-, and heritage-centric businesses or non-profits.

Cultural Facility - In Massachusetts, a building, structure or site that is, or will be, owned, leased or otherwise used by one or more cultural organizations and that is accessible to the public and exempt from income taxation pursuant to section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The term cultural facility may include, but shall not be limited to, museums, historical sites, zoos, aquariums, nature or science centers, theaters, concert halls, exhibition spaces, classrooms and auditoriums suitable for presentation of performing or visual arts. Municipally owned buildings, structures or sites must be a minimum of 50,000 square feet in size, of which at least 50 per cent is used as a cultural facility to qualify. Public or private institutions of higher education may qualify if they demonstrate that their cultural facility provides service and open access to the community and the general public outside of the regular educational mission of the public or private institute of higher education.

Cultural Inventory - Understanding clearly what a community’s assets are, who the creative workforce is, and what its needs are.

Cultural Organization - Defined in Massachusetts as a nonprofit, public or private, civic educational or professional organization or educational foundation which is primarily concerned with the arts, humanities, interpretive sciences or local arts and which is exempt from income taxation pursuant to section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Public or private institutions of higher education may qualify if they demonstrate that their cultural organization provides service and open access to the community and the general public outside of the regular educational mission of the public or private institute of higher education..

Cultural Resource - An aspect of a cultural system that is valued by or significantly representative of a culture or that contains significant information about a culture. A cultural resource may be a tangible entity or a cultural practice.

Cultural Tourism - An industry subsector that caters to people interested in learning more about the arts and culture of a region, country, or people. Tourists can be local or from more distant locations, depending upon the type of demand for the destination. Heritage tourism is a related term.

Economic Opportunity Area (EOA) - An area or several areas within a designated Economic Target Area of particular need and priority for economic development. These areas are selected by the individual communities, and must meet one of four statutory criteria for designation.

Economic Target Areas (ETA) - The Massachusetts Economic Development Incentive Program (EDIP) aims to stimulate economic growth by offering incentives to businesses that expand, relocate or build new facilities in one of 40 Economic Target Areas.

Empowerment Zone (EZ) - Highly distressed urban and rural communities who may be eligible for a combination of grants, tax credits for businesses, bonding authority and other benefits. Highly distressed refers to communities who have experienced poverty and/or high outmigration. This program is primarily managed through partnerships between the local entity and either HUD or the USDA.

Enterprise Development - The fostering and promotion of entrepreneurship, typically in the form of small businesses. Towards this end, organizations like community development corporations will provide goods and services like affordable space, technology, networking opportunities, and incubators.

Ephemera Programming - Events, marketplaces, celebrations, etc, that exist for a short period of time, from a few hours to a few days.

Gateway Cities - A group of 24 former industrial Massachusetts mill cities identified because of the widening gaps along several socio-economic indicators between the knowledge core that has developed in and around Greater Boston and these older industrial cities.

Gentrification - Refers to the socio-cultural displacement that results when wealthier people acquire property in low income and working class communities.

Green Building - The practice of creating resource-efficient building models from all lifecycle points: from siting, to construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and removal.

Historic District - A defined geographical area that may be as small as a few contiguous buildings, or as large as an entire neighborhood, business district, or community that contain historic properties associated with a particular time or theme in a community's history.

Historic Preservation - The practice of safeguarding significant old buildings and neighborhoods from destruction or insensitive, encroaching contemporary development in order to preserve community identity, stability and orientation.

Historic Property - A site with qualities (e.g. architectural, archaeological, cultural, etc.) that make it significant in history,; sometimes more specifically a site that is eligible for or is listed on the National Register of Historic Places or on a local or state register of significant sites.

Infrastructure - The basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. The term typically refers to the technical structures that support a society, such as roads, water supply, sewers, power grids, telecommunications, etc..

LEED - The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system is a non-governmental certification program designed and administered by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, constructed, and operated. The ratings serve as a framework for evaluating building performance and meeting sustainability goals, and provide a common standard of measurement for green buildings.

Live/Work Space - Space that supports both the living and working needs of the occupant.. For the purposes of artist space development, the definition of live/work space is more focused, recognizing that artist have special spatial needs, particularly depending on the type of art they practice.

Main Street® Program- A preservation-based economic development movement led out by the National Main Street Center that enables communities to revitalize downtown and neighborhood business districts by leveraging local assets - from historic, cultural, and architectural resources to local enterprises and community pride.

Mixed-Use - The practice of having more than one type of use in a building or neighborhood development. In urban planning terms, this means a combination of residential, commercial, office, institutional, industrial or other land uses. In artist space development terms, this means a combination of any or all of the following uses: living, working, presentation, commerce, etc.

Multiplier Effect - The expansion of social and/or economic capital by increasing investment in organizations and enterprises.

National Heritage Areas - A site designated by the United States and intended to encourage historic preservation of the area and an appreciation of the history and heritage of the site.

National Historic Landmark - A district, site, building, structure, or object of national historical significance, designated by the Secretary of the Interior under authority of the Historic Sites Act of 1935 and entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

National Register of Historic Places - The comprehensive list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects of national, regional, state, and local significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture kept by the NPS under authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

National Trust for Historic Preservation - A member-supported organization that was founded to support preservation of historic buildings and neighborhoods through a range of programs and activities, The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education and advocacy to save America's diverse historic places and revitalize our communities.

New Urbanism - An urban design movement which promotes walkable neighborhoods that contain a range of housing and job types.

Overlay District - Special zones that lie on top of existing zoning categories to supplement or supersede existing regulations. Overlay districts are used to accomplish a variety of development, transportation, and land use goals such as the preservation and promotion of the arts by providing incentives for high-density retail, commercial space, and housing with arts-related benefits

Partner -  Partners are involved in making decisions about the future direction of a cultural district or community project on a regular and on-going basis.

Public Art - Works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all.

SMART Goals - Goals designed to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based (e.g.“Increase number of first-time visitors by 15% in the next quarter”)

Smart Growth - An urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.

Stakeholder - Stakeholders are the businesses, organizations and individuals who stand to benefit from the establishment of a cultural district within a community, but may or may not be involved in the decision-making process for the district.

Sustainable Tourism - The primary concern of sustainable tourism is to support balance within the ecological environment and minimize the impact upon it by mass-market tourism. The use of this term is evolving as it is also used to describe the impact of mass-tourism on cultural and historic resources.

Sweat-Equity - Refers either to the increase in property value or the equity (investment) created by the purchaser or owner of a property or business through manual, unpaid labor and improvement.

SWOT Analysis -  A structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project, business venture, or initiative.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) - Allows municipalities to provide flexible targeted incentives to stimulate job-creating development.

Transit-Oriented Development - A mixed-use residential or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transport, and often incorporates features to encourage transit ridership.

Triple Bottom Line - A financial and real estate calculation made by both the private and public sectors that replaces the traditional monetary benchmark in favor of equally valuing economic, environmental, and social performance. Also known as People, Planet, Profit.

Urbanism - The meta-pattern of behavior, exchange, relationships, settlement, and other social, economic, cultural, political, and physical attributes that define urban life, communities, and space. Urban areas themselves are generally defined by their high population density and incidence of physical, sociological, economic, and cultural diversity. Inherent in the term is the significant difference between urban and rural areas and issues.

Walkability - The extent to which the built environment is friendly to the presence of people living, shopping, visiting, enjoying or spending time in an area. Factors influencing walkability include the presence or absence and quality of footpaths, sidewalks or other pedestrian right-of-ways, traffic and road conditions, land use patterns, building accessibility, and safety.

Zoning - Zoning is a tool used by municipalities and counties to preserve certain qualities of a neighborhood, protect existing residents or businesses, or even to incentivize development. Broadly stated, it is a system of land use regulation that separates different uses from each other and/or impacts the height, lot coverage, density, etc, of the built environment.

 
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