Great Neighborhoods Initiative Going Strong in Massachusetts

Post date: Jun 15, 2012 2:54:25 AM

The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance has posted thepresentations from their recent Great Neighborhoods Summit, and it’s good to see this initiative moving forward. The Great Neighborhoods program provides expert assistance to communities working for smart development and redevelopment, often with a transit-oriented development angle.

Two of the best success stories (with a transportation perspective) from MSGA’s update report:

· In the Fairmount corridor in Boston a suburban commuter rail line runs through otherwise transit-poor neighborhoods. MBTA is building new in-town stations, which will function almost like rapid transit stops, and a variety of agencies and groups are promoting redevelopment along the line, including “village centers” and greenways.

· In the more upscale, suburban setting of Winchester, MSGA is working with the town to plan a major upgrade and infill development of the CBD, centered on the commuter rail station.

Historically, transportation agencies have not been very good at planning or project development at this scale. This will be a challenge we need to address in coming years, as “great neighborhoods” will be a key building block for a successful, sustainable future. Thanks to MSGA for providing some good lessons.