Register for the Pioneer Valley Smart Growth Summit

Pioneer Valley Smart Growth Summit

“Strategies for thriving in an era of climate crisis and inequality”

Gateway City Arts

92 Race Street, Holyoke

May 9

8 am to noon

Join us for a dialogue about busting silos to address climate change and inequality! The program will be designed to get leaders across communities and issues challenging each other to solve some of the critical challenges facing the Pioneer Valley.

Initial speakers confirmed include:

  • Mayor Nicole LaChappelle, Easthampton
  • Laura Marx, Forest Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
  • Marcos Marrero, Director of Planning and Economic Development, Holyoke
  • Rick Sullivan, President and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts

Register and find out more here:

Discussion: Repairing city spaces through civic engagement, traffic calming, and public art

Placemakers (and activists) Mark Lakeman of City Repair, along with Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard of The Better Block, will speak at “Occupying and Transforming the Right-of-Way,” a discussion on repairing city spaces through civic engagement, traffic calming, and public art. The discussion will be moderated by moderated by Aaron Naparstek, Loeb Fellow ’12.

Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design hosts the event at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 24 in Gund Hall’s Piper Auditorium, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge (directions).

Save the date: “Sharing Spaces and Building Community Where We Live, Work and Eat” with Kevin Cavenaugh of Guerrilla Development and Ross Chapin of Pocket Neighborhoods — same time and place on Monday, April 4/7.

Register for the community planners’ annual conference — by Friday

The 2014 Massachusetts Citizen Planner Training Collaborative (CPTC) conference is coming up on Saturday, March 14. The deadline for online registration is this Friday, March 7.

Conference sessions, many with AICP and other credit available, touch on many smart growth topics and challenges:

  • Design for Density with Limited Infrastructure
  • Climate Change and Adaptation Planning! Massachusetts Policy Updates
  • Overcoming Challenges to Meeting Our Housing Needs! Integrating Housing into Local and Regional Planning
  • Inclusionary Zoning (not 101)
  • Sustainability Planning and Coastal Climate Change Adaptation Strategies: Local Planning at the Forefront
  • Fair Housing 101
  • Economic Development in Small Downtowns
  • Principles of Public Outreach in Planning Processes/Planning with Community Support
  • Introduction to the Zoning Act
  • And more…

Details of the conference are online.

ArchitectureBoston Expo 2014 call for proposals opens

©2013 Ben Gebo Photography

©2013 Ben Gebo Photography

The ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) has issued a call for workshop proposals. ABX 2014 will be held October 28 – 30 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

The 2013 conference featured more than 175 workshops and tours and filled over 9,000 seats with architects, engineers, builders/contractors, landscape architects, interior designers, and owners/clients. View the 2013 conference program.

The 2014 program will feature similar tracks to 2013 alongside new relevant industry topics. All workshops will be eligible for AIA continuing education credits. Submissions are due by midnight on Monday, March 3, and can be submitted online at Both introductory and advanced topics are encouraged. More info.

ABX 2013 was the gracious host of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Conference. More info.


Tuesday ceremony to honor 10 Community Preservation heroes

The Community Preservation Coalition will honor 10  individuals who have been significant contributors to the success of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) at a ceremony starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, in the Great Hall at the Massachusetts State House. House Speaker Robert DeLeo will speak at the ceremony, with presentation of the awards will follow.

This is the Kuehn Community Preservation Awards were developed to honor the memory and work of Robert H. Kuehn, Jr., a community preservation advocate who died in 2006. The event will also provide an opportunity for CPA advocates to show the value of CPA to state legislators and the need for continued support to the statewide CPA Trust Fund.



Smart Growth in Action: Somerville ‘Learning Journey’ on Oct. 29

Over the next 25 years, the City of Somerville will undergo a profound transformation. With a new Orange Line station in Assembly Square and at least six new stations along the Green Line Extension, convenient access to rail transit will explode from 15% to 85% of Somerville residents.

Tomorrow’s “learning journey” has a capacity crowd attending the morning presentation, networking session, guided trolley tour of Somerville’s transformational “hot spots”, followed by a lunchtime discussion of our common challenges. Hear about our collective efforts to make sure this public investment stays on track and results in local and regional public benefit through the:

  • Local Jobs Campaign
  • Community Path Design
  • Urban Agriculture Initiative
  • Passage of the Community Preservation Act
  • Implementation of the Somerville Comprehensive Plan (“SomerVision”)

To learn more about Somerville and these opportunities, visit the Somerville webpage of our Great Neighborhoods initiative.




As background for our tour, you may like to view the Somerville page of the Great Neighborhoods website:

BSA Space hosts ‘Reprogramming the City’

The Boston Society of Architects is hosting a new exhibition Reprogramming the City: Opportunities for Urban Infrastructure at the BSA Space in downtown Boston.


The exhibition, which opens on June 25th, presents a global overview of ways in which cities around the world redesign, repurpose, and reimagine their infrastructure to serve alternate and expanded functions, highlighting projects in cities from London to Hong Kong to Boston.

–Lucas Conwell

Last minute registration available for MAPC’s annual council meeting May 29

There’s still time to register to attend the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s annual meeting: 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29. The meeting is free and open to the public. Register online. The meeting will be held at the Quincy Marriott Hotel, 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy [directions].

The meeting’s program includes keynote remarks from MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott and award presentations for the Legislator of the Year, the Mann Award, and the Charles Eliot college scholarship for a local high school student

MAPC’s transportation staff will also give a presentation about exciting transportation-oriented development (TOD) work the group is starting in Melrose, Quincy and Beverly.



Bartlett Yards’ successful mural fest; “sculpture potluck” coming June 15


Great Neighborhoods partner Bartlett Events hosted its first Mural Fest on May 18 at the former MBTA Bartlett Yard site in Roxbury.

Five hundred people from across the Boston area came for food trucks, performances by the Floorlords and other local bands, and of course mural painting.

Nate Swain and other area area artists filled the walls of the former bus garage with their work; however, not all of the painters were professional—the Metropolitan Area Planning Council opened its assigned wall to the greater community, encouraging residents to fill the space with suggestions for improving Boston’s neighborhoods.

Attendees and organizers alike felt that the event was a huge success. Boston resident Allen Bush commented, “Who wouldn’t want this in their neighborhood each weekend?” Others were equally enthusiastic: community member Lawanda Monique added, “I feel in love with art, culture, music, and Boston all over again.”

Construction of a major mixed-use development will begin at the site in Spring 2014; until then, Bartlett Events plans to utilize the outdoor space to host community events. Next on the calendar is a Sculptural Potluck on June 15th jointly hosted by Bartlett and HarborArts, where an artist will direct community members in creating an outdoor sculpture out of empty spray paint cans. For more information, visit  the Bartlett Events website.

— Lucas Conwell