Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State University to host Westfield 350 lecture “Wayfinding Through GPS: Planning Perspectives for the City of Westfield”

CONTACT: Troy Watkins,, 413.572.5523

Westfield – Westfield State University will host a Westfield 350th Anniversary speaker event titled “Wayfinding through GPS: Planning Perspectives for the City of Westfield” on April 17 at 6:30 p.m. on Dever Stage in Parenzo Hall.

The event will be presented by Robert Bristow, Ph.D., and Dristi Neog, Ph.D., professors in the University’s Department of Geography, Planning, and Sustainability. The event will focus on tracing the history of movement through Westfield, from foot paths to canals and railroads to the construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

In addition, the event will showcase how Westfield’s history contributed to westward expansion and the key routes linked to the community’s heritage, as well as contemporary issues pertaining to the city’s growing demand for improved public transit services to make mobility more accessible. Finally, the event will highlight the significance of Pine Hill Cemetery and how its land use can play a larger role within the Westfield community.

A professor and department chair, Dr. Bristow has extensive experience and interest in recreation resource planning and management. He has over 60 publications in books, journals, and numerous government documents and is a volunteer for the Appalachian Trail. He earned a Ph.D. in geography from Southern Illinois University.

Dr. Neog is assistant professor who has taught for more than a decade. Her research and interests center on the environment, travel behavior, transportation planning, land resource management, and the application of GIS to urban planning. She holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Florida State University.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society.

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