News & Updates

Urban planning is a family affair on the Fairmount Indigo Line

Sep 29, 2015

Over 75 participants gathered in Dorchester’s Four Corners neighborhood for a unique outdoor city planning meeting last week. Residents, members of the business community, advocacy groups, and local commuters all joined in the open house event. Participants were treated to food from area restaurants and music as they learned about the Fairmount Indigo Line planning process through an interactive poster session. Local children were even engaged in the process through a participatory art experience led by Claudia Paraschiv, the Four Corners Artist in Residence.

The Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative is the BRA’s largest single planning study to date, and an estimated 132,000 residents who live within a half-mile of this branch of the MBTA’s commuter rail line stand to benefit from the initiative’s recommendations. The study has identified corridor-wide opportunities for commercial and residential development, transit access, public realm enhancements, and community-building initiatives. In addition, the planning process has focused in finer detail on three station areas, and most recently the Draft Plan for the Four Corners/Geneva Avenue Station Area (view executive summary here) was completed.
Planners from the BRA, the Cecil Group, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and the MBTA joined with the project’s Working Advisory Group to guide members of the public through the content of the draft plan. In collaboration with local business owner Caltor McLean and Four Corners Main Street, the open house was held in the Cornerstone lot at the bustling intersection of Washington and Bowdoin Streets.
Senior Planner Ted Schwartzberg explained the rationale for this unconventional meeting format: “It was important to reach out to a wide audience at this significant milestone in the planning process. Not everyone has time to sit through a slide presentation, nor the awareness that planning meetings are being held right in their neighborhood. Setting up outside, near the T, during the evening commute allowed us to bring the planning process directly to the people we are serving.”
Project staffers are compiling feedback gathered at the open house to discuss with members of the Working Advisory Group at their next meeting on September 29th. Members of the public are invited to join the conversation at this meeting, where the agenda will focus on the edits and updates needed to take the draft plan to its final form.
A full copy of the Four Corners/Geneva Avenue Station Area Draft Plan can be found here.

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