(3) Preserving Newton’s Richness of Character, Heritage, and Way of Life

One issue often debated during the public forums for The ReNewton Project was whether residents want the community’s population to grow, stay the same, or decline. Many people argued that they choose to live in Newton because they like its historic feel, and the level of safety and security of a smaller community.

In fact, in the City’s survey, while nearly 55 percent of people want the community to grow, nearly 39 percent want the population to stay the same.

The Plan

To continue to preserve and maintain the city’s unique character, heritage, and way of life, the plan recommends the City:

  • Foster new housing options at all economic levels, and focus on renovating existing housing stock and preserving older neighborhoods.
  • Seek energy efficiencies, water conservation, recycling, green architecture, and environmentally friendly transportation methods whenever feasible.
  • Explore methods to increase community pride and create within residents a better understanding of the significance of Newton’s history, ethnicity, and heritage.


“We define ourselves in Newton as an authentic community. We have a defined downtown. We have neighborhood schools. We have those things that make us a total community, and while that doesn’t make us unique, it is separating us from those communities that just dribble on beyond the metro area.”
— Barb Burns, coordinator of community advancement

“I’m a firm believer that our history helps us invent ourselves over and over again. I think it defines who we are as a community, and it serves as a foundation to build on.”
— Barth Hague, steering committee member