Sustainable Communities Results Quick Presentations


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The Sustainable Communities Grants made a great deal of good work possible for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and its partners -- all to improve the quality of live for the people who live, work, and play in the 101 cities and towns in its region. See the stories of five of those projects in five very different Massachusetts communities.

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  • Static slide to preceded Lynn Duncan.
  • Lynn Duncan title slideHow this process was a departure from how the city has undertaken city and neighborhood planning in the past- New engagement methods- An action plan created through collaborationA more diverse demographic engaged, by age, ethnicity
  • Why the project was desirable:- Destination for new immigrants, including Dominicans- Home to over 100 businesses: professional services, retail, education and health services- Four parks and access to acres of Salem Waterfront, within walkingdistance of the downtown- One of the densest neighborhoods in the city: est. 40-50 people per acreBUT- larger percent of 16-25 and 23-65 actively looking for work in the Point vs other neighborhoods Majority of housing units are renter-occupied (64%) compared to the rest of the city perception that it has highest number of crimes compared to other neighborhoods (untrue)- Infrastructure and cleanliness problems – very dense neighborhood (top issues: trash, sidewalk quality, noise, and illegal activities at night)
  • EXAMPLE of innovation in engagement:- Game created a new entry point into city planning processes- Provided younger generations with a way to learn about community issues and engage in dialogue with othersStrengthened relationships between City and communityGame also generated donations to local causes – money for the CDC to repair murals, money to Salem Cyberspace to purchase new equipment, and resources to local shelter serving homeless youthMention the focus groups and interviews with 20 people from the community that informed the development of the game questions
  • The result of the project. - Our vision and action planning workshop – Mayor actively participated in every meeting; brainstorming for working cities began at one of the public meetings (the first meeting)- Participants in both public meetings mirrored demographics of community; interpretation provided and translation of meeting materials
  • - commitment to developing a practical, implementable action plan that clearly names responsible partners-strong community partner – CDC with relationships with local officials and grassroots neighborhood groups and other nonprofits; connected us to youth leaders, who were integral to the development of the game MAPC offered facilitative and technical expertise – helped innovate the planning process
  • Grant funding set aside for infrastructure improvements (parks, trees, housing rehabilitation)Latino Affairs Coordinator hired by City$100,000 Working Cities Challenge Grant to fund workforce and leadership development activities$25,000 for a Commercial Corridor Plan strengthening corridor between the Point and downtown Salem
  • Adam Chapdelaine title slide
  • Arlington had approx. 3000 High Pressure Sodium Streetlights using almost 1.2M kwh of electricity per year.The Town’s energy reduction plan called for a 20% reduction in usage. One significant means of achieving this reduction was a streetlight retrofit.Reference to Clean Energy Toolkit
  • Starting with Arlington’s Energy Working Group, the Town created a strategy and identified funding sources.The next hurdle was procurement. This is where the MAPC stepped and helped make the project happen.
  • With the guidance of the MAPC, Arlington was able to cooperate with Chelsea, Natick, and Woburn on a joint procurement that resulted in a contract with Siemens.Once under contract, Siemens worked with the DPW to begin installation.
  • Results
  • Another result for MAPC was the development of the Clean Energy Toolkit
  • Smart growth means different things in different places. In MAGIC, which is hope to many developing suburbs northwest of Boston, open space and vibrant agricultural systems are essential to our communities.
  • In MAGIC, agriculture represents economic development opportunities consistent with community character.
  • However, agriculture in the subregion, and the entire MAPC Region, faces many challenges such as municipal knowledge of practice, development pressures, land access and tenure for farmers/ranchers, and incompatible regulations – to name a few.
  • The MAGIC Ag Project brought together an unprecedented and nontraditional collection of stakeholders: farmers/ranchers, municipal officials, agricultural non profits, and state and federal agencies; to identify ways to strengthen and sustain agriculture.
  • The results of the project have come together into the project report that summarized the challenges, opportunities, and recommendations for action items that partners should implement.
  • Through an inclusive planning process, MAPC and its partners developed recommendations for strengthening the agricultural system in the MAGIC subregion, such as (cite items on left).
  • Many of these strategies have been highlighted in MAPC’s companion project: A Food Systems Guide for Municipal Officials, overseen by CLF-Ventures. The Guide will explain the critical role municipalities play in supporting and strengthening the local food system.
  • An example of a community that has taken these recommendation and guidance and put them to use is Littleton. We have…
  • This work  has lead to the awarding of a contract to MAPC and its partners: Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and MA Workforce Alliance; to develop a statewide Food Systems Plan for the Commonwealth.
  • Challenges in Wollaston which include the existing zoning that is producing/allowing development like this KFC and Friendly’s. Wollaston Center lacks an identity with inconsistent signage, streetscape, and development pattern. The challenge here being how do we create zoning and a transportation network/public realm that brings more people/activity to Wollaston and creates a place that people want to live/work/shop/play in.
  • Early implementation of the projectThis is the vision map that was created from the input of the City and our community engagement process with the community. It shows the potential development parcels (mostly surface parking lots), and how the area could be better connected by bike, pedestrian connections and by a consistent streetscape treatment. Very important to draw residents from the surrounding neighborhoods to the Center to use the T and to shop in local businesses. Making the pedestrian infrastructure safer and more pleasant is important to bringing people into Wollaston Center from surrounding areas.
  • Implementation of the recommendations. zoning recommendations focused on creating development envelopes that allowed for taller buildings, a mix of uses, buildings that meet the street with reduced setbacks, and heavily reduced parking requirements for residential development. The plan also recommended improved crosswalks, bike lanes, and streetscape improvements as is illustrated in the rendering.
  • A chance to mention that MAPC just completed the bike plan for the City, which ties in bike infrastructure from Wollaston area to the rest of the City.
  • Immediate successes of the project: - 68 Beale Street – cited our study as impetus for building, set stage for .5 spaces per unit - City is working on rezoning the area based on study recommendations - MAPC is doing a follow-up parking study to help inform the zoning - MBTA is investing in Wollaston Station – new pedal and park bike cage, ADA compliancy at the station
  • The Green Line Extension will…Improve mobility for Somerville residentsAttract new industry to the cityStimulate new housing productionReduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • It could also bring…Higher income residentsIncreased rentsMore condominium conversionsExpired affordability restrictionsHigher property taxesMore auto ownershipFewer transit-dependent householdsThe community needs to know…How will GLX change the housing market?What are the biggest risks for displacement?What strategies can keep Somerville affordable?What metrics can trackneighborhood change over time?
  • Our approach: MAPC, SCC, City over last 2 years created Dimensions of Displacement StudyGoal is to use this to understand baseline data and projections, and to track data over time with close monitoring of indicators
  • Also looked at potential displacement via condo conversions, expiring use property turnover and property tax increases.
  • A range of housing types are needed affordable at different price points, not just for lower and higher-income households, but also for middle-income households.
  • Housing workshopsFamily housing, displacement, and the third will be to come up with strategies
  • Chance for people to interact with data and set next stepsHow many :SomerVision goal of increasing housing stock to 6000, with 1200 affordableWhat tools:Revising Inclusionary Zoning and other zoning reformFocus on family housing, elderly housing, low income and moderate incomeJust increased Linkage FeeJust passed CPAClose tracking of indicators over time
  • How will we get this done:Working with nonprofit affordable housing developersWorking with private, small property ownersExploring shared-equity and other options to extend affordability terms and create share ownership
  • Sustainable Communities Results Quick Presentations

    1. 1. MAPC Winter Council Meeting | February 26, 2014 Photo courtesy North Shore CDC
    2. 2. LYNN DUNCAN Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Salem Salem Point Neighborhood Vision and Action Plan A Sustainable Communities Grant Project CITY of SALEM
    3. 3. Salem Point Neighborhood Walking Tour Courtesy Emerson Engagement Game
    4. 4. Courtesy Emerson Engagement Game Lab
    5. 5. Job Training + Placement, Education and Career Pathways Organizations, city departments, businesses, citizen groups Environment, Open Space, + Recreation Organizations, parks, community spaces, activities Housing + Economic Development Tenant groups, real estate agents, city departments, landlords, property owners, organizations, businesses Neighborhood Pride + Civic Engagement Organizations, city departments and boards, citizen groups, media, service learning programs Safety + Security Organizations, city departments and boards, citizen groups Point Neighborhoo d Vision Infrastructure City departments, transportation resources, housing, parking
    6. 6. ADAM CHAPDELAINE Town Manager, Arlington A Very Bright Idea: LED Streetlight Retrofits A Sustainable Communities Grant Project
    7. 7. Streetlights Replaced 3,000 Kilowatt-hours Saved 703 K Annual Energy Cost Savings $105 K Annual Maintenance Savings $40 K Total Cost of LED Streetlights $1.04 M Town of Arlington Funds $714 K Green Communities Grant Funds $160 K NSTAR Incentive Funds $165 K Payback to Arlington Taxpayers 4.9 Years
    8. 8. Ani Krishnan, MAPC Energy Planner
    9. 9. KEITH BERGMAN, Town Administrator, Littleton, MA / MAGIC Chairman MAGIC Agricultural Planning: A Sustainable Communities Grant Project
    10. 10. Agriculture is Strong in
    11. 11. Yet There are
    12. 12. Results: Report &
    13. 13. Affordable, Protected Land for Lease Build Community Support (Farm Friendly Neighbor) Zoning Amendments: Accessory Uses Local & Flexible APR/CR Recommendations for a Strong Agricultural System Agriculture Commission Powers Infrastructure Investment Farm Viability: Supplemental Revenue Streams
    14. 14. New Tools
    15. 15. Measurable Change Littleton: Google Maps image • Established Agricultural Commission • Amended Zoning for Expanded Agricultural Uses • Best Management Practices for Town-Owned Agricultural Land
    16. 16. Outcomes: A Statewide Project!
    17. 17. KRISTINA JOHNSON, Director of Transportation Planning RE-ENVISIONING WOLLASTON: A Station Area Plan for Wollaston Center A Sustainable Communities Grant Project.
    18. 18. Hancock Street, Quincy, MA.
    19. 19. Vision Map for Wollaston
    20. 20. Before and After Renderings of Beale Street, Quincy,
    21. 21. Bike/Ped Network Plan for the City of Quincy
    22. 22. 68 Beale Street MBTA MBTA Parking in Wollaston
    23. 23. DANA LeWINTER Director of Housing, City of Somerville MERIDITH LEVY Deputy Director, Somerville Community Corporation The Dimensions of Displacement A Sustainable Communities Grant Project
    24. 24. Tracking Neighborhood Change • Tenure • Household Size and Type • Bedroom Count • Cost Burden • Mortgage Status • Overcrowding • Geographic Mobility • Race and Ethnicity • Education • Citizenship Status • Income and Poverty Status
    25. 25. How much could rents increase? Rents along the GLX could rise 25% to 67% 700 to 800 renters could become newly cost-burdened
    26. 26. How much housing is needed? Net Housing Unit Demand by Age, City of S omerville, 2010 - 2020, S tronger Region S cenario Net Housing Unit Demand, 2010 - 2020 7,000 Single Family Multifamily 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 (1,000) (2,000) (3,000) 10 14 15 19 20 24 25 29 30 34 35 39 40 44 45 49 Age in 2010 50 54 55 59 60 64 65 69 70 74 75 plus Source: MAPC Population Projections 2013 6,300 to 9,000 new units needed to accommodate new
    27. 27. Dana LeWinter Director of Housing, City of Somerville @SomervilleCity Meridith Levy Deputy Director, Somerville Community Corporation @SCC_Somerville