Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Brad Lewis




urbanization, tourism, textile manufacturing, commercial fishing


In 2010, 80% of Americans lived in urban areas with the number on the rise. Trends in the economy and people's desires affect the demographics of the United States and over recent years there has been a movement from rural to urban areas called urbanization. Throughout the history of the United States, cities have seen economic successes where the city thrived, along with turmoil where the city was plagued with unemployment and a stagnant economy. This study assesses the developments of New Bedford Massachusetts, a city with a population of approximately 100,000, located in South East Massachusetts. New Bedford's economic success has been primarily based on the success of a single industry, beginning with whaling and moving to textile manufacturing and commercial fishing. Because of a variety of factors, New Bedford saw a decrease in population employment and income beginning during the Great Depression era and never regained its success. New Bedford has certain assets that if capitalized on can be central to the urban redevelopment of the city. The geography of the city is crucial because of the proximity to the larger cities of Boston Providence and New York to high population density areas and to the access to the ocean with the Port of New Bedford. The rich history of the city has the potential to be an asset for tourism as well. Ultimately, New Bedford has the potential to capitalize on assets that already exist in the city which many others do not. Through diversification and creative strategies New Bedford has the potential not just for a quick boost to the economy, but for long term success in redeveloping the city.