- Smart Growth and Placemaking Projects
- Photo Gallery
- Video Gallery
- Morning Panel Sessions
- Afternoon Panel Sessions
Smart Growth and Placemaking Projects Highlighted
The display boards highlighting smart growth developments and planning initiatives from across the Commonwealth — as well as projects to improve public spaces and create parklets — are now online:
- smart growth developments and planning initiatives
- projects to improve public spaces and create parklets
Executive Director Andre Leroux speaks about the smart growth achievements to mark the 10th anniversary of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance.
Gov. Deval Patrick discusses smart growth efforts in the Commonwealth during his tenure and goals for the future.
MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones moderates a “front porch” discussion, The Future of our Communities, featuring:
- Sec. Greg Bialecki, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development
- Barry Bluestone, Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University
- Elizabeth Kneebone, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
- Alexie Torres-Fleming, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
Author Dr. Manuel Pastor presents the concluding plenary, “Doing Good and Doing Well: Why Equity Matters for Sustaining Prosperity in a Changing America.”
Download Dr. Pastor’s presentation slides (PDF).
Introduction by Lisa Davis, Ford Foundation. Followed by discussion with Marc Draisen, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
Morning panel sessions, 10:30–12:00pm
A. Housing Trends and Innovations: Where Will Everyone Go?
Households are getting smaller and more families are looking for the right sized home at the right price. Massachusetts suffers from a shortage of housing choices where people want to live and work. Recognizing this challenge, the state has set a goal of producing 10,000 multifamily housing units every year. Find out what municipalities, developers, and residents can do to successfully integrate diverse housing types into their existing communities.
- Rachel G. Bratt (moderator), Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
- Arthur Jemison, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development [presentation]
- Dan Hodge, UMass Donahue Institute [presentation]
- Larissa Brown, Goody Clancy [presentation]
B. Great Neighborhoods: Placemaking Stories and Successes
The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance and other groups are working with community leaders to shepherd sustainable development efforts in places as diverse as post-industrial Gateway Cities, urban Boston neighborhoods, and suburban towns. Local smart growth champions will offer their insights about the challenges of creating mixed-use, mixed-income communities and vibrant public spaces. They’ll share how they have used placemaking as a strategy to generate community engagement and build momentum for longer-term change. This interactive session will allow for small group discussion to dig deeper and share your own success stories with peers.
- New Directions Collaborative (Facilitator)
- Jason Boyd, Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation
- Catherine Ryan, Gloucester HarborWalk, the Harbortown Cultural District, and the Gloucester Committee for the Arts [presentation]
- Betsy Ware, Town of Winchester [presentation]
C. Bringing Back Main Street: Beyond Business Improvement Districts
Communities across the Commonwealth and the Nation are successfully managing the issues that have historically hurt their downtowns. Today’s panel will describe their organizational approach to managing issues from cleanliness, safety, better business mix, to housing and more. These models include business improvement districts, private/public partnerships, and community development corporations. The discussion will also include a national perspective of the elements of successful downtown revitalization.
- Marco Li Mandri, New City America [presentation]
- Theresa Park, City of Lowell, Department of Economic Development
- Elisa Scully, Downtown Taunton
- Mary Vilbon, Shelburne Falls Partnership
- Richard Thal, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation
D. Water Management as a Smart Growth Tool.
Water infrastructure and regulations shape what can be built and where almost as much as zoning or transportation. Join a conversation about how smart water management can help us get the kinds of development results that we want and learn about tools that will get us there. Hear from water experts about successful and innovative solutions and what we can do to replicate them. There will be a ‘myth-busting’ panel discussion following the presentations, covering topics such as whether stormwater management is too costly, and whether smart growth is just for cities.
- Nancy Goodman, Environmental League of Massachusetts (moderator)
- Rosemary Monahan, EPA New England (moderator)
- Scott Horsley, Horsley Witten Group [presentation]
- Vandana M. Rao, Ph.D., Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Robert Zimmerman, Charles River Watershed Association
E. Improving Transportation Without Megaprojects: Walking, Biking and Transit
Reducing our reliance on cars is not just for the big city. The Commonwealth aims to triple the share of walking, biking and public transportation in the state by 2020. To accomplish this, we all will have to transform the way we think about transportation investment and projects. Learn about parking reforms, “road diets,” “complete streets,” and how to design new projects for the biggest impact.
- Mark Chase, Tufts University Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
- Peter Furth, Northeastern University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Steven Miller, Livable Streets Alliance [presentation]
- Angela Kelly, Madison Park Development Corporation [presentation]
F. The Elephant in the Room: Race, Development, and Welcoming Communities
To compete in today’s marketplace, cities and towns need to successfully attract people and investment, particularly among growing communities of people of color and immigrants. Race continues to shape our housing and employment and segregation affects our economic prosperity. Learn how to identify exclusionary practices at the local level and overcome them. Hear about new federal rules on fair housing and tools and data to help your community become a welcoming one.
- David Harris, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard University (moderator)
- Barbara Chandler, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
- Jennifer Sien Erickson, M
etropolitan Area Planning Council
- Dion Irish, City of Boston Office of Civil Rights
- Mickey Northcutt, North Shore Community Development Coalition
- Amy Retsinas Romero, Community Legal Aid
Afternoon panel sessions, 1:00–2:30pm
G. A New America Dream: Not Just the Single-Family Home
Market research suggests that Massachusetts and the nation have overbuilt the supply of “McMansions”— large, luxurious, single family homes on large lots. Yet we also suffer from a severe lack of modestly sized single family homes and rental developments. Talk to innovators who have a different vision for the ideal homes of the future — and have ideas about how to get them built. Discuss cottages, co-housing, repurposed school buildings, eco-friendly dwellings, and multifamily developments near transit, among others, and what communities can do to ensure that more families attain the “American Dream.”
- Brenda Clement, Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (moderator)
- Eli Spevak, Orange Splot LLC [presentation]
- Iram Farooq, City of Cambridge
- Chrystal Kornegay, Urban Edge Housing Corporation
Madeline Nash, Coalition for a Better Acre [presentation]
- Laura Fitch, Kraus Fitch Architects [presentation]
- Dan Gainsboro, Genesis Planners, Inc. [presentation]
H. Placemaking and network organizing: Making Great Neighborhoods in your community
Learn about the ingredients necessary to create Great Neighborhoods that are walkable, affordable, inclusive and offer a variety of transportation choices. Hear from people that are “getting it done” in their communities using strategies such as Placemaking, Network Organizing and Collective Impact. Learn about the Great Neighborhoods model and find out how you can engage with the emerging Great Neighborhoods Network to continue to connect with peers and resources to accelerate your own local implementation efforts. This interactive session will allow time for working with peers to ‘put into practice’ the tools explored.
- New Directions Collaborative (Facilitator)
- Ina Anderson, MA Smart Growth Alliance [presentation]
- Danny LeBlanc, Somerville Community Corporation [presentation]
- Jess Andors, Lawrence CommunityWorks [presentation]
- Mark Matel, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation [presentation]
I. Market-Driven Smart Growth: Barriers and Successes.
When Developers Get It Right: Overcoming the Challenges of Smart Growth Project Finance and Execution Bringing a smart growth project to fruition requires savvy, persistence and creativity. Learn from developers about their experiences and hear their case studies about the rewards and frustrations of smart growth projects. Together we will identify what works and what doesn’t, and suggest some opportunities to make systemic improvements to how projects get built in the Commonwealth.
- Chris Leinberger, LOCUS, Smart Growth America
- Don Briggs, Federal Realty Investment Trust
- Chryse Gibson, Oaktree Development
- David Perry, Hines Interest
J. Creative partnerships to solve transportation challenges
With public infrastructure dollars stretched thin at the same time that demand rises for convenient transportation options, new ways of thinking are needed. Learn about some innovative partnerships that have emerged and join the discussion about what a new transportation future might look like in rural, suburban and urban areas. Strategic alliances between transportation entities and other institutions could help generate new resources and more efficiently connect people to where they need to go.
- Stephanie Pollack, Dukakis Center, Northeastern University (moderator)
- Katherine Freund, ITNAmerica
- Richard A. Dimino, A Better City
- Hayes Morrison, City of Somerville
- Dan Curtin, Zipcar
K. We are what we build: The rise of public health in reshaping our communities
You may be surprised about the seriousness of the obesity epidemic and how rapidly it has gotten out of control. Many health experts are convinced that the only way we will fight it—and control the nation’s health care costs—is by creating places that are built around staying active and offering healthy food and environments. Find out more from leaders in the field about this emerging trend and how it could affect how we re-create our communities.
- Wendy Landman, WalkBoston
- Melissa Dimond, MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center
- Ben Wood , Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Prevention and Wellness
- Karen Voci, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
- Travis McCready, The Boston Foundation
- Barbara Fields, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Boston Regional Office
L. Mixed-income communities: The grail of community development
With smart growth often comes higher property values and rent increases, while in weaker market areas, leaders struggle with attracting educated professionals. How can we ensure that all residents benefit from growth and investment? This session will review new research and tools to avoid the negative impacts of gentrification, particularly the displacement of low-income people of color, as a result of smart growth investments. There will also be discussion of innovative strategies to create projects and communities that can attract and maintain a vibrant, diverse resident mix.
- Elizabeth Kneebone, The Brookings Institution
- Tim Reardon, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
- Ben Forman, MassInc
- Jay Ash, City of Chelsea
- David Wluka, Massachusetts Association of Realtors
- Josephine McNeil, Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton Development Organization