Pioneer Valley Planning Commission – Case Studies

We are working to document and spread the word about local examples of sustainability in action. Please send us information about your projects, or about projects with which you are familiar, and we will highlight them here.
Send information here.

To get this effort started, a group of graduate students at the UMASS Amherst department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning (LARP) prepared the three cases studies below.


The City of Springfield, MA

Country Home magazine has listed Springfield among the top five cities nationwide in its “Best Green Places” study.  The study is featured in the April 2007 issue of Country Home Magazine.  The award was based upon key green features of Springfield such as: water quality, well-designed… click for more


Rural Development Inc.

Rural Development, Inc. (RDI) is a non-profit housing developer in Franklin County, MA.  The Home Ownership Program builds single family homes across Franklin County and… click for more


The ReStore Home Improvement Center

The ReStore is a non-profit retail store selling used and surplus building materials.  The ReStore’s mission is:

  • Reuse valuable building materials
  • Make home improvement affordable for more people
  • Create local jobs and provide training

The ReStore manages to meet environmental and social goals while maintaining… click for more


Northampton, Example of Sustainability

In the last decade, Northampton has undertaken a significant number projects that promote sustainability. As a result of these many efforts they were well-poised when they chose to work on a “Sustainability Plan” for the city.

In 2006, the City conducted a series of community focus groups designed to include community input in the process, asking local constituents questions on the future vision of Northampton…. click for more


Our Family Farms Milk

In 1997, a group of small family dairy farmers in Western Massachusetts formed the Pioneer Valley Milk Marketing Cooperative and began marketing their milk under the “Our Family Farms” label. The farmers in the cooperative milk more than 320 cows on 1,620 acres of farmland and have combined farming experience adding up to more than 767 years1. The farms are located primarily in Franklin and Hampshire Counties… click for more


Paper City Brewery – Holyoke, MA

In 1995, Jay Hebert, founded the Paper City Brewery, Co., Inc. The brewery is located on the fifth floor of an old manufacturing warehouse on Cabot Street in Holyoke. The brewery is a good example of a small, private firm that produces a niche product (microbrewed beers and sodas) with strong sustainable development practices. These efforts, in turn, have helped the Brewery establish a good relationship with the community… click for more