Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Webinar: How to Retain Maker and Manufacturing Industries with Creative Zoning Tools

Makers at Club Cyberia, a makerspace in Indianapolis (Credit: @ClubCyberiaIndy / Twitter)
As manufacturing space is threatened by residential, commercial, and retail uses, cities are starting to think creatively about where small-batch production can happen in a city. Learn about new or proposed zoning initiatives in Somerville, Nashville, and Indianapolis that are helping makers and manufacturers protect real estate space they currently occupy or can move to in the future. Register now... Read more

Recent Changes to the Massachusetts Zoning Act and Smart Growth Zoning

Back Bay rowhouses in Boston (Credit: Rick Berk / Flickr)
Recently, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted and Gov. Baker signed into law several important changes to the Massachusetts Zoning Act and the Smart Growth Zoning and Housing Production Act. Changes include the addition of a new starter home initiative, and zoning changes that make developing new structures easier. Read more... Read more

Sample a Pop-Up Plaza in Boston’s Downtown Crossing

Rendering of the proposed design for an outdoor plaza in Downtown Crossing (Source: The City of Boston)
A few simple touches can go a long way in turning an otherwise drab piece of concrete into something fun. Boston is taking a tactical approach to improving an extra-wide intersection in Downtown Crossing by temporarily giving it a little bit of love to showcase its potential. This pilot is a test-run for the city to gauge how well an actual plaza might do in that location and what kind of an impact it might have on foot and car... Read more

Boomtowns Are Making Room for Skinny Homes, Granny Flats, and Other Affordable Housing

This carriage house ADU, in the mixed-use Holiday neighborhood, is part of Boulder
Housing Partners’ affordable rental program. (Credit: Boulder Housing Partners)
While half of all households nationwide are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing, many residents in hot market cities are spending more than 50 percent and being forced to leave. Housing activists are challenging city planners and elected officials to create more diverse infill options to house people, stem displacement, make better transit connections, and create more environmentally sustainable communities. The good news is that cities across the United States are already working on solutions. Read... Read more

Would People Use a Boston Harbor Ferry Service?

Boston Harbor Cruises water taxi (Jonathan Wiggs / Boston Globe)
​There’s new life in the long-stalled effort to provide regular ferry service to the booming neighborhoods and business districts that front Boston’s inner harbor. Two groups, one led by real estate developers in East Boston, another by public officials, are launching studies to determine whether ferries can shuttle passengers along and across the harbor and not be much more expensive or less convenient than subways or buses. Read more... Read more

National League of Cities Launches First-Ever Equitable Economic Development Fellowship

A view of downtown Portland, Oregon (Jeff Gunn / Flickr)
​The National League of Cities (NLC), PolicyLink and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) are launching the first-ever Equitable Economic Development Fellowship, a two-year, $1 million effort to help equity, transparency, sustainability and community engagement become driving forces in local economic development. Six cities were chosen to participate in the inaugural year of the fellowship: Boston, Charlotte, Houston, Memphis, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Read more... Read more

All Signs Point To Transit-Oriented Development

transit-istock
The amount of vacant office and lab space within 15 minutes of a train or subway station in the Boston area is a super-low 7.4 percent, according to a new report out by Encompass Real Estate Strategy Inc. By contrast, the vacancy rate in corporate suites and labs beyond that 15 minute radius is nearly double that, weighing in at 13.8 percent. Companies are not just battling it out for the best and brightest these days; they are also desperately fighting... Read more

Lawmakers Aim to Simplify ‘Complete Streets’ Redesigns in Massachusetts Towns

“Complete Streets” is a program that encourages municipalities to accommodate safe access for all modes of transportation.
Dina Rudick / The Boston Globe
​ Massachusetts lawmakers moved forward with a proposal to encourage cities and towns to participate in a “Complete Streets” grant program to redesign their streets in a way that makes them safer and more efficient for multiple modes of transportation. The proposal simplifies an existing state program. Read more... Read more
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