Tag Archives: Massachusetts

New Tool Could Help Boston Renters See Beyond the Craigslist Ad

​A new tool from the city of Boston aims to make the renting process more transparent. Announced by the mayor’s office last week, RentSmart draws on data from the city’s Inspection Services Division to capture the not-so-photogenic side of any given rental, including housing violations, enforcement violations and sanitation requests. Read more... Read more

45 Boston Communities Asked for “Slow Streets”

In March, the city of Boston announced that, after making data-driven improvements, the city’s new Slow Streets program would ask residential neighborhoods to nominate themselves for traffic-calming features. The approach, part of the city’s overall Vision Zero effort, differs from other cities, which tend to prioritize residential streets based on crash rates. Read more... Read more

Boston’s Unparalleled Effort to Incorporate Racial Equity Into Urban Planning

​Leaders in Boston released what they say is the most racial equity-focused resilience strategy of any city to date, outlining steps to reduce systemic racism and increase opportunities for disadvantaged communities. The strategy addresses short-term “shocks” like floods, infrastructure failure and terrorist attacks and long-term “stresses” like affordable housing and unemployment—all through the lens of racial equity. Read more... Read more

Boston Planners See a Greenway Where There’s a High-Traffic Road

​There’s a growing movement among planners and green space advocates to fulfill Olmsted’s vision by turning Columbia Road, a wide, heavily trafficked thoroughfare split by desolate concrete medians, into a greenway. Advocates see it as a way to bring green space and paths for walking and biking to a neighborhood that has long been neglected. And the city has tentatively embraced the idea, including Columbia Road in its larger ambition to add green corridors throughout the city. Read more... Read more

Boston Is Now Building Public Parks Under Interstate Highways

​ The Massachusetts Department of Transportation and National Development announced plans for Ink Underground, an urban park that will span eight acres partially under Boston’s Interstate 93. The park will serve as a connector between the South End and South Boston neighborhoods via pedestrian boardwalks, art and cultural installations, and bicycle paths along the channel. Read more... Read more

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
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