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Mayor Walsh, BPDA, launch next phase of PLAN: Charlestown with open house

Jan 30, 2020

Bolstering an ongoing commitment to community planning, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, along with the Boston Planning & Development Agency, will launch the formal public process for PLAN: Charlestown with a kick-off open house on Thursday, January 30 from 6:30-8:00 PM at the Warren-Prescott School Cafeteria in Charlestown. The public is encouraged to stop by the open house at any time to meet with City and BPDA staff and learn more about the planning process and how to get involved. A brief presentation will be given at 7:00 PM. Guided by Imagine Boston 2030, PLAN: Charlestown seeks to establish a comprehensive and coordinated plan to support neighborhood needs in the areas of transportation, parks and open space, climate resilience, education and affordable housing. 

“Like the many planning studies underway, PLAN: Charlestown uses Imagine Boston 2030 as a roadmap for community planning to guide inclusive growth while preserving the character of the neighborhood,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “By engaging with the community early on we were able to create a shared vision of what the plan should cover. With that in mind we are ready and excited to launch the next phase of the planning process. I encourage every member of the community to become involved and lend their voice to the planning process.”

PLAN: Charlestown is a comprehensive planning initiative for the entire neighborhood in partnership with the community and staffed by a planning team consisting of an interdepartmental working group from across City departments and State agencies. In addition to planners, the PLAN: Charlestown team includes a community engagement manager who focuses on building relationships and reaching out to new voices in the community.

Since PLAN: Charlestown was announced last year, BPDA staff have met with local stakeholders and community members in order to develop a better sense of the goals for PLAN: Charlestown. These meetings have included a BPDA sponsored Chat with a Planner series, informal gatherings at residents homes and meetings with community groups, including the Charlestown Coalition, residents of the Charles Newtowne Cooperation and the Charlestown Preservation Society. BPDA staff have also participated in the Boston Transportation Department’s meetings on Rutherford Ave/Sullivan Square redesign, Boston Housing Authority’s meetings on the Bunker Hill Housing redevelopment and Boston Public School’s Charlestown neighborhood meeting to hear from residents. Community discussions focused on future land use, current development as well as strategies to enhance the existing community and preserve its historic assets. 

“I’m looking forward to a robust dialogue around the future planning of Charlestown. I thank Mayor Walsh and the BPDA for their willingness to engage the community in this process,” said Representative Dan Ryan. “I’m especially grateful to the many Charlestown residents whose participation thus far have gotten us to this point.”

“At the Charlestown Coalition, we have been pleased with the BPDA’s community engagement process thus far, and especially with the efforts of their Planning staff to ensure that all community voices are at the table. Residents from our Turn It Around youth group plan to attend this kick-off event as they work to ensure that young people’s voices are considered while plans develop for their home and community. Our coalition looks forward to working collaboratively with the BPDA as this plan develops,” said Sarah Coughlin, Director of the Charlestown Coalition and Mswati Hanks, Youth Program Coordinator for the Charlestown Coalition’s Turn it Around program.  

PLAN: Charlestown builds on the comprehensive community planning that has taken place under Mayor Walsh. Each strategic planning effort is guided by Imagine Boston 2030, Boston’s first city-wide master plan in 50 years aimed at guiding growth. Imagine Boston 2030 prioritizes inclusionary growth and puts forth a comprehensive vision to boost quality of life, equity and resilience in every neighborhood across the City. In addition to individual neighborhood planning studies, there are a number of city-wide planning initiatives currently underway looking at transportation, climate resilience and affordable housing.

Since 2014, planning guidelines have been passed for PLAN: JP/Rox, PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Avenue and PLAN: Nubian Square, formerly known as PLAN: Dudley Square.

Ongoing Planning Initiatives 

PLAN: Downtown

A Downtown planning study was identified in Imagine Boston 2030 and through the community process for the 115 Winthrop Square project. The primary goal of PLAN: Downtown is to develop a new framework for the preservation, enhancement, and growth of Downtown Boston. With public engagement kicked off in late 2018, the planning study is looking at the Financial District, Downtown Crossing, Midtown Cultural District and Chinatown. Draft planning guidelines are expected to be released this summer. 

PLAN: East Boston

PLAN: East Boston is a community-driven, neighborhood-wide planning initiative in East Boston. Guided by Imagine Boston 2030 and several city-wide strategic plans, PLAN: East Boston will produce a framework to predictably shape the future of East Boston, and identify opportunities to preserve, enhance and grow. The effort is organized by the BPDA in partnership with several City agencies, and relies on the participation of the East Boston community to be both meaningful and sustainable. PLAN: East Boston will

  • Update the East Boston Master Plan (2000),
  • Recommend updates to Article 53 (East Boston zoning article);
  • Produce urban design guidelines; and
  • Recommend immediate-to long-term improvement projects for the neighborhood’s transportation network.

PLAN: Glover’s Corner, Dorchester

The BPDA has facilitated a comprehensive, robust planning process with over 40 public meetings looking at PLAN: Glover's Corner. Based on feedback from the community, draft guidelines have been released, which will:

  • Maintain housing for a range of incomes, with a high proportion of income-restricted housing.
  • Promote the establishment of a new mixed-use district between Freeport Street and the MBTA Red Line tracks.
  • Create an active, people-centric district by improving the street grid to provide capacity for inclusive growth.
  • Plan for a climate-resilient neighborhood with quality open space.
  • Support local businesses, preserve and grow quality jobs.
  • Support the cultural diversity of the neighborhood.

BPDA staff is currently incorporating the feedback received from the community on the draft guidelines into a Draft Plan Document.

PLAN: Mattapan

Guided by Imagine Boston 2030, PLAN: Mattapan’s goal is to create a comprehensive vision to shape inclusive growth and investment throughout the neighborhood. PLAN: Mattapan works closely with the community to create a shared vision to guide inclusive economic growth that will create housing at a variety of income-levels and increase access to opportunities and jobs, while preserving the neighborhood’s character. Last fall, PLAN: Mattapan celebrated more than 105 community engagement events one-year into the planning process.

PLAN: Newmarket, The 21st Century Economic Initiative

As identified in Imagine Boston 2030, this comprehensive plan highlights Newmarket, located on the Fairmont line, as a place for potential preservation of critical industrial uses, increasing job density and strengthening connections to Downtown and adjacent neighborhoods. The plan will work closely with local stakeholders to develop a vision for the area as a jobs center for the 21st Century economy. With land use as its primary focus, the initiative will also consider public realm, mobility, arts and culture, climate resilience, public health, and open space contributions to a successful future jobs center.

Western Avenue Corridor Study & Rezoning

The Western Avenue Corridor Study & Rezoning initiative is addressing the increasing development pressure along Western Avenue by engaging local stakeholders and community members to inform recommendations for new or modified zoning. The study also considers public realm improvements in the area. This effort will work in conjunction with the ongoing Allston-Brighton Mobility Study to explore transportation enhancements to serve this growing corridor. 

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