Tag Archives: Massachusetts

How Engineering Standards for Cars Endanger People Crossing the Street

​At the Landmark Interchange by Fenway Park in Boston, people trying to walk across the street sometimes have to wait as long as two minutes for a signal. And that, says Northeastern University Civil Engineering Professor Peter Furth, is dangerous. Two minutes is an unreasonably long time to ask someone to wait — especially in one of the nation’s most walkable cities. Faced with that delay, says Furth, people will try their luck crossing against the light. To compound the... Read more

Boston Mayor Wants to Waive Building Height Rule This One Time

Boston’s in the midst of a debate that touches on everything from city revenues and state laws to housing and public parks. At the center of it all: one tower that would rise over 700 feet on prime real estate. If built, the high-rise will cast shadows on the parks. However, with millions of dollars for the city at stake, the former is not a real problem when compared to the good the money could do for parks maintenance and... Read more

Is ‘Imagine Boston 2030’ Climate Ready?

The “Imagine Boston 2030” draft describes a climate-ready city as one that “protects our existing housing and job centers and enables future resilient growth.” Enabling future resilient growth is as much about knowing where and how to grow as it is about knowing where and how not to, but Imagine Boston 2030 seems to suggest otherwise: “Many of the areas where Boston will grow are exposed to flooding risk as sea levels rise. By growing in these areas, Boston is... Read more

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

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

Boston to Test Surge Pricing for Parking Spaces

In a bid to reduce congestion and move people through downtown more quickly, Boston will test surge pricing for parking. Parking meter prices in Boston were last raised in 2011, and remain much lower than in other major cities at just $1.25 per hour. Starting January 2017, the city will adjust meter rates in the Back Bay and Seaport neighborhoods, charging up to $4 an hour for the most in-demand spots in an attempt to strike the right balance of... Read more

Recent Changes to the Massachusetts Zoning Act and Smart Growth Zoning

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

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

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
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