Call Us: 508-441-4622

South End Engaged shines a spotlight on a New Bedford urban core


All over the City of New Bedford, stakeholders are getting busy breathing new life into neighborhoods by working together in innovative ways to grab opportunity and meet challenges.

In the North End, the Love The Ave Steering Committee is chugging along the busy commercial and residential corridor into 2017. Downtown, the Purchase-Union Innovation District is taking planning to the next level.

And now, the city’s South End is stepping up in a big way.

South End Engaged

Next Monday, February 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., businesses along lower County Street to Rivet Street and up to Goulart Square are invited to attend a South End Business Conversation. It will take place in Your Theatre at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church and breakfast will be served. The meeting is being held under the umbrella, South End Engaged.

And overview of effort provided by the United Way of Greater New Bedford states the following: South End Engaged is an initiative spearheaded by the United Way of Greater New Bedford which aims to convene a cross-sector group of stakeholders to develop projects that will benefit the South End of New Bedford. The initiative, which is comprised of over forty stakeholders, including non-profits, city departments, businesses, and residents, is guided by the vision statement that “all residents of the South End of New Bedford are safe, healthy, and have the knowledge and skills to thrive.”

Diving deep into New Bedford’s neighborhoods

Love The Ave, Purchase-Union Innovation District, and now South End Engaged is seeking to poise their neighborhoods for the future while acknowledging their fabled pasts. Each urban core has helped define New Bedford for decades in different ways. Now, a new civic sensibility is being applied to planning for the decade or two ahead.

Lower County Street to Rivet Street up to Goulart Square has all the ingredients for renewed success. Indeed, much of the charm of the streets – and anchor small businesses – remain intact.

The area boasts an eclectic line-up of eateries, assorted taverns – from gamey to old world –  a plethora of service businesses and not one, not two but three hardware stores.


A bit of Europe surrounds Goulart Square

Personally, I love walking down Rivet Street to Goulart Square. Manny at River Street Hardware has saved me from many a home renovation disaster with practical advice and supplies.

The bread at Goulart Square Bakery is so good it gives lie to the old saying, “Man cannot live by bread alone.” Oh, yeah? I’d be happy to try after a visit here.

Right behind the bakery, pop into Cafe San Paulo practically any time of day for a beer and chaser at this Portuguese version of the local pub.

An important city hub

Taken as a whole, the area from lower County to Rivet Street and down to Goulart Square is alive with activity and ripe for future growth. As more and more people discover – or re-discover – urban cores it’s vital that stakeholders encourage civic engagement as everyone together seek the tools necessary for the future.

Though the meeting o n Monday, Feb. 13 focuses on the area’s commercial corridors, the entire scope of South End Engaged goes beyond economic revitalization to include family and school engagement; health and safety; and resident organizing. (Read more here.)

All in all, that’s some pretty broad engagement!

(If you’d like to attend the South End Business Conversation on Mon. Feb. 13, call Suzanne Elllis at 508-994-9625 ext. 219 or email her at

Steven Froias