The Hub's Metropolis

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Building on 200 Years of Metropolitan
Boston's Planning and Development
Jame's O'Connell

Published in: Design, Technology, Business
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The Hub's Metropolis

  1. 1. Building on 200 Years of Metropolitan Boston’s Planning & Development Congress for New Urbanism – New England Summit, 2014 James C. O’Connell
  2. 2. Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) – 101 Cities & Towns
  3. 3. Metropolitan Boston Development Layers 1. Town Centers & Proto-Suburbs (1800-1860) 2. Country Estates (1820-1920) 3. Railroad Suburbs (1840-1920) 4. Streetcar Suburbs (1870-1930) 5. Metropolitan Parkway Suburbs (1895-1945) 6. Suburban Mill Towns (1820-Present) 7. Postwar Automobile Suburbs (1945-1970) 8. Interstates, Exurbs, & Sprawl (1970-Present) 9. Urban Redevelopment (1945-Present) 10. Smart Growth Development (1990-Present)
  4. 4. Each Era’s Development Patterns Each suburban era has produced a distinctive land use development pattern:  Built landscape  Real estate development patterns  Transportation  Housing  Commercial  Open and public space Two Types of Planning:  Coordinated Infrastructure Planning  Vernacular Development Patterns
  5. 5. Traditional Town Centers 1800-1860 Lexington Green
  6. 6. Proto-Suburbs 1800 - 1860 John Warner Barber, Brighton Cattle Market, 1839
  7. 7. Country Retreats 1820 - 1920 Gardner House, Green Hill, Brookline, 1806
  8. 8. Lyman Estate, Waltham, 1793
  9. 9. Bellmont, originally in Watertown Built 1840; “Belmont” established 1859
  10. 10. Railroad Suburbs 1840 - 1920 Early Boston & Worcester Railroad Seth Davis’s Hotel, West Newton – First Suburban Railroad Station
  11. 11. Brigg’s Place/Walnut Park, Newton Corner
  12. 12. Newton, as a Railroad Suburb
  13. 13. Frederick Law Olmsted, Fisher Hill Subdivision, Brookline,1884
  14. 14. Wollaston Park, Quincy, 1890
  15. 15. Brookline Annexation Veto, 1874-1880
  16. 16. Streetcar Suburbs Horsecar Electric 1856 – 1889 1889-1930 Beacon Street, Brookline, 1915
  17. 17. Boston’s Commuting Radius
  18. 18. Horsecars, 1856
  19. 19. Frederick Law Olmsted, Beacon Street Design, Brookline, 1886
  20. 20. Streetcar Suburb Development Three-Deckers, Dorchester Photo: Alex MacLean Apartments, Beacon Street, Brookline
  21. 21. Mill Towns 1820 - Present Boarding House, Lowell, ca. 1870
  22. 22. Planned Industrial Community - Lowell, 1876 Boarding House, Lowell, ca. 1870
  23. 23. Unplanned Industrial Community - Cambridge Ford Model T Plant New England Candy Co.
  24. 24. East Cambridge Housing
  25. 25. Parkway Suburbs 1893 - 1945 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, ca. 1930
  26. 26. Two Influential Planners Frederick Law Olmsted (1822- 1903) Charles Eliot (1859-1897)
  27. 27. Emerald Necklace Parks, 1875
  28. 28. Metropolitan Park System In 7 years (1893-1900), Metropolitan Park System conserved 91,000 acres of open space, 13 miles of oceanfront, 56 miles of riverbank and built 7 parkways.
  29. 29. MDC Parkways Mystic River Parkway, 1897 Fellsway, ca. 1955
  30. 30. Typical Dutch Colonial House Arlington, 1920s
  31. 31. Zoning Zoning introduced 28 metropolitan Boston communities have zoning 1928
  32. 32. Postwar Automobile Suburbs 1945 - 1970 Route 128, New England Industrial Park, Needham, 1952; photo 1959
  33. 33. Route 128, “America’s Technology Highway” Hobbs Brook Office Park, Waltham, 1955 Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, 1951
  34. 34. Shoppers’ World, 1951
  35. 35. Route 1 Highway Strip, Saugus Hilltop Steak House
  36. 36. Suburban-Style Houses VFW Parkway, 1951-1953
  37. 37. Interstates, Exurbs, & Sprawl 1970 - Present I-495 and Interstate Highway System Development, Westborough, Intersection of I-495 & Mass. Pike
  38. 38. I-495 Development Walmart, Central Mass.Housing Subdivision, I-495, 2000s
  39. 39. Big Box Stores IKEA, Avon
  40. 40. McMansions Walpole, 2000s
  41. 41. Boston Redefines the Center City/Invents the Post-Modern City, 1945 - Present
  42. 42. Mayor Kevin White & Quincy Market, 1976
  43. 43. Seaport/Innovation District
  44. 44. Smart Growth/New Urbanism/Transit- Oriented Development 1990 - Present Cronin’s Landing, Moody Street, Waltham
  45. 45. Issues of New Urbanism Era Respond to: • Low-Density Sprawl • Need for Suburban Town Center Revitalization • Need for Growth Opportunities in Buildout Communities Infill, Amesbury, MA, ca. 2000
  46. 46. Canton – Zoning Reform, 2000 Canton allows residential above retail - mixed-use zoning
  47. 47. Station Landing, Medford, 2006
  48. 48. MBTA Commuter Railroad System TOD Opportunities
  49. 49. Woodland Station, Newton Arborpoint Apartments
  50. 50. Lifestyle Center “The Street,” Chestnut Hill
  51. 51. Wayland Town Center, 2013
  52. 52. Northpoint, Cambridge Started 10 years ago and will take another 10 years; 2,900 units; 200,000 sf retail; 2 million sf lab & office; $2 b.; remake Lechmere Station by 2017
  53. 53. Assembly Square, Somerville $1.3 billion; 2,100 units (450 units 2014), 500,000 sf retail (330,000 sf 2014); hotel; cinema; 1.75 million sf office & retail; Cavalia under tall tent; Legoland Discovery Center; Orange Line Station 2014; 6-acre park on Mystic River & bike paths
  54. 54. Key Questions for Future Regional Development • MAPC projects Greater Boston needs 305,00 new housing units by 2040 to serve 6% pop. growth & 435,000 units for 13% growth - where will they be located? • Will incrementalism & NIMBYism be obstacles? Metropolitan Area Planning Council, MetroFuture Regional Plan (2008)
  55. 55. Austin Street Parking Lot, Newtonville Newtonville Square Development Partners 74,000 sf; RFP for housing (25% affordable), retail, 5 % open space, & replacement & resident parking
  56. 56. Austin Street, Newtonville Austin Street PartnersNew Atlantic Development
  57. 57. Newton Tab Cartoon, February 3, 2014
  58. 58. Creating 21st-Century Communities & Regions Jim O’Connell’s Website www.thehubsmetropolis.com
  59. 59. Olympics as Urban Regeneration
  60. 60. International Building Exhibition (IBA) Repurposing the Industrial Ruhr, 1999 Emscher Park, RuhrThe Ruhr
  61. 61. International Building Exhibition (IBA) Coping with Climate Change in Hamburg, 2013 Goal to create car-free city in 15-20 years & cope with rising sea & river levels.
  62. 62. How to Promote New Urbanism • Virtual IBA - Highlight existing model projects • Campaign to reconceptualize suburban town centers • Redevelop highway strips TOD, Abington

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