Williamsburg Healthy Aging and Community Design

Continuing, Comprehensive, and Cooperative Planning Process

Average Annual Daily Traffic

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

Average Daily Traffic

American Farmland Trust

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

American Heritage Rivers Initiative

American International College

Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations

Approval Not Required

American Planning Association

Aquifer Protection District

Air Quality Index

Air Quality Index

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (of 2009)

Automatic Traffic Recorder

Average Vehicle Ridership

Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee

Business Improvement District

Bicycle Level of Service

Best Management Practice

Bridge Management System

Board of Appeals (or Adjustment)

Board of Health

Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990

Commercial Area Revitalization District

Community Action Statement

Central Business District

Cape Cod Commission

Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield

Community Development

Community Development Action Grant

Community Development Block Grant

Centers for Disease Control

Community Development Corporation

Community Development Fund

Community Development Plan

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Community Enterprise Economic Development

Citizen Housing and Planning Association

Community Housing Development Organizations

Capital Improvement Inventory System

Capital Improvements Plan (or Program)

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program

Congestion Management Process

Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission

Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area

Compressed Natural Gas

Carbon Monoxide

Council of Governments

Commonwealth Procurement Access and Solicitation System

Community Preservation Act

Citizen Planner Training Collaborative

Capitol Region Council of Governments

Community Service Block Grant

Combined Sewer Overflow

Department of Conservation and Recreation

Department of Environmental Protection

Division of Employment and Training

Department of Housing and Community Development

Direct Local Technical Assistance

Department of Energy Resources

Department of Revenue

Department of Transportation

Department of Public Works

Developments of Regional Impact

Executive Order

Production of affordable housing across a broad range of incomes 

Economic Assistance Coordinating Council

Economic Development Administration

Economic Development Council

Economic Development District

Economic Development Data and Information System

Economic Development and Industrial Corporation

Environmental Impact Report

Environmental Impact Statement

Environmental Justice

Environmental Notification Form

Economic Opportunity Area

Executive Office of Administration and Finance

Executive Office of Economic Affairs

Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Site Assessment

Economic Target Area

Federal Aid

Functional Classification (of roadways)

Federal Housing Administration

Federal Highway Administration - An agency of the United States Department of Transportation that provides financial and technical support to each state for constructing, improving, and preserving America’s highway system.

Federal Highway Administration

Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Federal Transit Administration

Greenhouse Gas

Geographic Information System - A system for capturing, storing, analyzing and managing data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth.

Geographic Information System

Global Positioning System

Housing Appeal Committee

HAPHousing

Holyoke Community College

Housing Development Support Program

Housing Innovation Fund

Home Modification for Individuals with Disabilities Loan

Highway Overlay District

Historic Overlay District

Homeownership Opportunities Program

High Occupancy Vehicle

Housing Preservation Grant

Housing Production Plan

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Invitation for Bid

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991

Intelligent Transportation Systems

Job Access and Reverse Commute

Jacob's Ladder Scenic Byway

Jacob's Ladder Trail

Joint Transportation Committee

Local Board(s) of Health

Limited English Proficiency

Local Housing Authority

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Low Income Housing Tax Credit

Level of Service

Local Option Transportation Tax

Local Pavement Management System

Light Rail Vehicle

Local Technical Assistance

Massachusetts General Laws

Hazardous waste cleanup regulations

Uniform procurement law for local governments

Zoning

Planning/comprehensive permits

Smart growth zoning and housing production

Smart growth school cost reimbursement

Subdivision control

Expedited permitting

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Massachusetts Association of Regional Planning Agencies

Massachusetts Department of Transportation

Massachusetts Geographic Information System

Minority Business Enterprises

Massachusetts Development Finance Agency 

Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act

Massachusetts Geographic Information Council

Massachusetts Historical Commission 

Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency

Municipal Incentive Grant

Massachusetts Municipal Association

Memorandum of Agreement

Massachusetts Office of Business Development

Massachusetts Office on Disability

Memorandum of Understanding

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Metropolitan Planning Organization

Montachusett Regional Planning Commission

Metropolitan Statistical Area

Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices

Martha's Vineyard Commission

Merrimack Valley Planning Commission

Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

National Association of Regional Councils

New England Association of Regional Councils

Non-Federal Aid

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended)

National Highway System

Neighborhood Housing Services program

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Northern Middlesex Council of Governments

Nitrogen Oxide

Nantucket Planning and Economic Development Commission

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Transportation Safety Board

Old Colony Planning Council

Overall Condition Index (Pavement)

Open Space and Recreation Plan

Pavement Condition Index

Priority Development Fund

Purchase of Development Rights

Peak Hour Traffic (or Trips)

Payment in Lieu of Taxes

[Metropolitan] Planning Funds

Pavement Management System 

Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area

Pavement Management Users Group

Planner on a Disc

Public Participation Process

Planned Unit Residential Development

Pioneer Valley Regional Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority

Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp.

Rental Development Action Loan

Regional Employment Board

Regional Education and Business Alliance

Regional Economic Models, Inc.

Request For Proposal

Request for Qualifications

Request for Response

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Roadway Inventory Files

Revolving Loan Fund

Regional Planning Agency

Regional Pavement Management System

Regional Transit Authority

Regional Technology Corporation

Regional Transportation Plan

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users

Small Business Administration

Supplier Diversity Office 

State Implementation Plan (for air quality)

Sustainable Knowledge Corridor

Single Occupancy Vehicle

Special Permit

Special Permit Planning

Site Plan Review

Statewide Planning and Research Funds

Single Room Occupancy

Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District

Springfield Technical Community College

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program

Surface Transportation Program

Targeted Brownfields Assessment

Transportation and Community System Preservation [Pilot Program]

Transportation Demand Management

Transfer of Development Rights

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century

Tax Increment Financing

Transportation Improvement Program

The Literacy Project

Turning Movement Count

Traditional Neighborhood District

Transit Oriented Design (or Development)

Transportation Research Board

Trip Reduction Ordinance

Transportation Systems Management

Urban Growth Boundary

Urban Land Institute

University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute

Unified Planning Work Program

Urban Revitalization Development Grant

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Forest Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Geological Survey

U.S. Public Land Survey

Underground Storage Tanks

Vehicle Miles Traveled

Volatile Organic Compound

Vehicle Occupancy Rate

Ware Adult Learning Center

Weatherization Assistance Program

Women-owned Business Enterprises

Wellhead Protection Area

Western New England University

Water Quality Management Plan

Westfield River Watershed Association

Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee

Water Supply Protection [District]

Westfield State University

Zoning Board of Adjustment (or Appeals)

PVPC collaborated with the Town of Williamsburg's Elder Services/Council on Aging, Healthy Hampshire and WalkBoston on a project that examined how healthy aging in Williamsburg is affected by the Town's Community Design. 

Williamsburg, MA is a small rural community with a rapidly aging population. By 2025 it is projected that 40% of the Town’s population will be 60 years or older. The number of older adults over 80 will likely double between 2010 and 2035. While Williamsburg benefits from engaged citizens, attractive village centers, and functioning senior services, the town’s land use pattern and transportation system create challenges for healthy aging. 

Housing stock in Williamsburg is generally older and larger. Many older adults are burdened by property taxes that stress their finances, home maintenance and repair needs, and homes that are difficult to access or move through due to hills, stairs, layout, etc. There are few options in Williamsburg for older adults who want to downsize to smaller or less expensive housing within town. There are very limited affordable housing options in town. There is no continuing care, assisted living, or nursing home in Williamsburg—though there are several facilities in neighboring Northampton. 

Walking in Williamsburg is constrained by numerous hills, narrow rural roads that lack safe space for pedestrians, and a heavily traveled state highway that runs through the middle of the two village centers—Haydenville and Williamsburg centers. 

Older adults are able to meet some basic needs in the town—at the post office, library, two small markets, several restaurants, and a pharmacy/hardware store—but they must travel outside of town for many needs, for example to visit most medical providers (including a dentist or eye care), or to shop at a full-size supermarket. Out of town driving presents a challenge for some older adults who are not comfortable driving long distances, or navigating the more busy small cities where those services are present. Finally, older adults are seriously concerned about what would happen if they lost the ability to drive—they foresee that they would be profoundly isolated and unable to carry out day-to-day activities.  

The main thrust of this project was to identify key opportunities to facilitate healthy aging through community design in Williamsburg and support older adults in advocating for their needs. The project involved extensive public input, a walk audit by Walk Boston, and a targeted review of Williamsburg's plans, policies and regulations--using PVPC's Healthy Community Design Toolkit

We identified specific action steps that the Town and its residents can take to facilitate healthy aging. The recommendations reflect the following goals: 

  • increase the diversity of housing opportunities for older adults in Williamsburg
  • provide transportation options that enable older adults to carry out day-to-day activities in and around Williamsburg in a safe, convenient and cost effective manner
  • provide older adults with additional opportunities for physical activity in Williamsburg, including active transportation, walking for recreation, organized classes, and other outdoor recreation
  • rethink the delivery of Senior Services in Williamsburg. 

The project was funded by a mini-grant from Massachusetts Associaton of Health Boards in partnership with Department of Public Health with in-kind assistance from Healthy Hampshire and Walk Boston.  

Download PVPC's final project report below. Additional project reports and materials are available upon request. 

Project Manager

Dillon Sussman
Senior Planner

Documents

Williamsburg_HealthyAging_160727_02_web.pdf

Williamsburg Healthy Aging Final Report
Final report by PVPC for the Williamsburg Healthy Aging and Community Design project.
Williamsburg_HealthyAging_160727_02_web.pdf

doc-williamsburg-healthy-aging-and-community-design2483.pdf

WalkBoston_WilliamsburgReport
Final report from WalkBoston's walk audit of Williamsburg Center (Burgy) from April 2016
doc-williamsburg-healthy-aging-and-community-design2483.pdf