Tess Perrone Poe
Ph.D. Student in Regional Planning
Tess is a Ph.D. student, entrepreneur, maker, and writer based in Northampton, MA. Her primary interest is in the planning profession’s response to shifts in the retail sector, including models for addressing small format commercial vacancies, indices of urban experiential capacity, and agile planning and zoning policy. Her research and advocacy of innovative land-use planning and smart growth led to a graduate degree in regional planning at UMass Amherst in 2005. Tess has worked as a researcher and community planner at Federal, regional, and municipal levels, and is currently at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. In 2011, she launched Beehive Sewing Studio + Workspace, LLC in a downtown Northampton storefront as an urban experiment in retail makerspaces, testing a new theory for small-format downtown economic development. Tess has served as Chair of the City of Northampton Planning Board and on other non-profit boards and commissions focused on economic development, arts and culture, and civic engagement.