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2 Ospcd

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  • 1. City of Somerville Community Transformation Channeling the forces of change in a positive direction for your community Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor Harvard Kennedy School Presentation September 2010
  • 2. Preparing for the Future <ul><li>Change will happen – question is how to channel it is positive direction </li></ul><ul><li>Know where you came from and where you are today (a.k.a. trends) </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what trends you like and what you don’t; identify strengths to build on and weaknesses to reduce </li></ul><ul><li>Set clear vision for what want in the future – include lots of community involvement (a.k.a. comprehensive plan / general plan) </li></ul><ul><li>Implement the vision – don’t compromise the plan </li></ul>
  • 3. <ul><li>Change will happen </li></ul>
  • 4. 1. The Inevitability of Change <ul><li>Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. (Robert C. Gallagher) </li></ul><ul><li>Change is inevitable. Change is constant. (Benjamin Disraeli) </li></ul><ul><li>Everything will change . The only question is growing up or decaying. ... Everything will change . (Nikki Giovanni) </li></ul>
  • 5. <ul><li>Know where you came from </li></ul><ul><li>and where you are today </li></ul>
  • 6. 2. Know where you came from <ul><li>Transit Built Somerville </li></ul><ul><li>Built as a trolley suburb of Boston </li></ul><ul><li>Primarily two and three family dwellings </li></ul><ul><li>Largely built out by the early 1900s – before zoning established </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal land set aside for parks </li></ul><ul><li>Today, the most densely populated cities in New England (nearly 78,000 in 4.1 square miles); 5 th densest in the nation! </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse population with mix of incomes </li></ul>West Somerville Street Car Davis Square (1910)
  • 7. Mayor Joseph A Curtatone Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development Somerville’s Population History
  • 8.  
  • 9. Jobs in Boston Metro Region Change in Real Wage Somerville has less than 0.5 jobs per resident in the workforce. In contrast, Cambridge has two.
  • 10. Road Length per Land Area Car Share Membership
  • 11. Transit Ridership to Work Even with only one transit station and terrible on-time bus performance, 30% of Somerville residents use public transit for their daily commute
  • 12. <ul><li>Determine the trends you like </li></ul><ul><li>and those you don’t </li></ul><ul><li>(strengths / weaknesses) </li></ul>
  • 13. Positive Trend toward improved Transportation Infrastructure <ul><li>Rail and Roads (today) </li></ul><ul><li>Boston & Lowell </li></ul><ul><li>Boston & Fitchburg </li></ul><ul><li>Boston & Maine </li></ul><ul><li>Route 28 </li></ul><ul><li>I-93 </li></ul><ul><li>BET </li></ul>Railroads Crossed the City McGrath Highway <ul><li>Rail and Roads (future) </li></ul><ul><li>Green Line Extension </li></ul><ul><li>Orange Line Station at Assembly Square </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Ring </li></ul><ul><li>Community Path Extension </li></ul><ul><li>Union Square Transportation Study </li></ul><ul><li>Bike Routes (Broadway, Somerville Ave, Union Square) </li></ul>
  • 14. Transformative Nature of Transit <ul><li>85% of Somerville will be within ½ mile of transit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reconnect neighborhoods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promote local job creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access for residents to job centers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalyst for sustainable land transformation </li></ul></ul>
  • 15. Somerville: Transit & Transformation Special thanks to our graphics providers: FRIT, CBT/Greenberg, EOT, Reconnecting America, and the Community Design Resource Center Wholesale Transformation Substantial Redevelopment Strategic Investment Residential Preservation
  • 16. Additional Strengths <ul><li>Significant community engagement / volunteerism </li></ul><ul><li>High education level and creativity among residents; entrepreneurial spirit </li></ul><ul><li>Strong demand for transit and bicycle and pedestrian facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Strong core of creative industry (architects, gamers, media) </li></ul><ul><li>Growing interest in sustainable living (shop local, energy) </li></ul><ul><li>Strong street grid and urban form; interesting architecture and history </li></ul><ul><li>Sizeable opportunity areas in eastern Somerville near future Green Line stations </li></ul>
  • 17. Additional Weaknesses <ul><li>Increasing gentrification – less affordable to middle class and poor </li></ul><ul><li>Declining number of senior citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in families and youth </li></ul><ul><li>High wage jobs moving from Boston directly to suburbs </li></ul><ul><li>Limited commercial construction affects tax base </li></ul><ul><li>Auto is still dominant mode of transportation </li></ul>
  • 18. <ul><li>Set a clear vision for the future </li></ul>
  • 19. Creating a Plan for Somerville What is a Comprehensive Plan? Core Components: Goals & Policies Land Use Plan Housing Economic Development Open Space & Recreation Natural & Cultural Resources Services & Facilities Circulation & Transportation Implementation A vision of what a community wants to become and the steps needed to achieve that vision. Rooted in factual current and historical data. Requires cornerstone components, established in Massachusetts General Law. Includes an extensive process of community involvement that will shape the Plan and put it into action. The Comprehensive Plan: Analysis of Trends Vision for the Future Guidance/Direction/Protection
  • 20.  
  • 21. VISION FOR THE FUTURE
  • 22. In Somerville, We : Value the diversity of our people, cultures, housing, and economy. Foster the unique character of our residents, neighborhoods, hills and squares, and the strength of our community spirit as expressed in our history, our cultural and social life, and our deep sense of civic engagement. Invest in the growth of a resilient economic base that is centered around transit, generates a wide variety of job opportunities, creates an active daytime population, supports independent local businesses, and secures fiscal self-sufficiency. Promote a dynamic urban streetscape that embraces public transportation, reduces dependence on the automobile, and is accessible , inviting and safe for all pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders. Build a sustainable future through strong environmental leadership, balanced transportation modes, engaging recreational and community spaces, exceptional schools and educational opportunities, improved community health, varied and affordable housing options, and effective stewardship of our natural resources. Commit to continued innovation and affirm our responsibility to current and future generations in all of our endeavors: business, technology, education, arts, and government.
  • 23. 5. Implement the vision
  • 24. Assembly Row <ul><li>New Orange Line Station leverages </li></ul><ul><li>2,100 Residential Units </li></ul><ul><li>1.75 M Square Feet of Office </li></ul><ul><li>1.07 M Square Feet of Retail </li></ul>
  • 25. Green Line & Inner Belt/Brickbottom - 117 acres <ul><li>CBT/Greenberg Scoping Study </li></ul><ul><li>3 M Square Feet of Office </li></ul><ul><li>2.5 M Square Feet of Lab </li></ul><ul><li>200,000 Square Feet of Retail </li></ul><ul><li>3,000 Residential Units </li></ul><ul><li>Public Open Space / Community Path </li></ul>7 to 10+ M Square Feet Development Opportunity
  • 26. Somerville in Action <ul><li>Union Square Rezoning </li></ul><ul><li>Transit Oriented Development </li></ul><ul><li>Green building incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced parking requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Increased height and FAR </li></ul><ul><li>Design Guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Pedestrian Oriented Uses </li></ul><ul><li>Streamlined approach to permitting </li></ul>
  • 27. Red Line & Davis Square Community Path at Davis Square <ul><li>In 1997, Davis Square was listed by the Utne Reader as one of the fifteen &quot;hippest places to live&quot; in the United States Red Line Station in center of square </li></ul><ul><li>Regional destination for living, dining, shopping </li></ul><ul><li>Within walking distance to two universities </li></ul><ul><li>Somerville Community Bike Path </li></ul><ul><li>Significant private investment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hotel RFP underway </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New 3 story retail-office building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>66,000 sf. office building sold for nearly $20M </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loft units selling for up to $1M </li></ul></ul>Davis Square by Night
  • 28. More on the concept of Change <ul><li>Resistance to </li></ul><ul><li>I have a resistance to change in things that I feel comfortable with and that I'm used to. (Dennis Quaid) </li></ul><ul><li>People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn't they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines... There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. (Bill Gates) </li></ul><ul><li>Change is tough, people don't like it, but it is necessary. Take two aspirins and call me in the morning. (Christopher Bond) </li></ul><ul><li>Projecting Change </li></ul><ul><li>We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. (Bill Gates) </li></ul>

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