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About « MIT@Lawrence



MIT@Lawrence is an example of sustained civic engagement between faculty, students and staff of MIT and civic leaders, residents and community-based organizations in Lawrence, Massachusetts. MIT@Lawrence advances the idea of equity by supporting locally-led projects and research at the intersection of democratic engagement, shared wealth creation and urban sustainability. We work at this intersection, or sweet spot, through action-oriented scholarship for the purpose of contributing to an equitable and sustainable future in the City of Lawrence.


Lawrence is a small, ethnically diverse city 30 miles north of Boston. It lies along the Merrimack River, which has strong currents that prompted investors to plan and build an industrial city there in the early 1800s. The large, brick textile mills are the central physical feature of Lawrence to this day. Lawrence and its residents face challenging economic and political conditions, stemming from this industrial legacy and subsequent economic and demographic upheavals. There are many small cities like Lawrence throughout the Northeast and Midwest; cities that were industrial powerhouses but now face uncertain futures.


The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under Community Outreach Partnership Centers Program with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of University Partnerships. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government.