Katherine Leigh Wolf, MUP 2018

Summer 2017

Organization: Boston Planning & Development Agency, Boston, MA

Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship

The Place – Governor’s Corner

” While interning with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), much of my time has been focused around the recent launch of a planning study area in Dorchester. The study area, named after John Glover and the site’s historic connection with the tanning industry of the early 1600’s, is a crossroads between many neighborhoods of diverse backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities. The site is also home to existing and often underutilized industrial and commercial parcels that dominate much of the land area. However, with close proximity to the Red Line, including the Savin Hill and Fields Corner T stops, Glover’s Corner is uniquely positioned to grow.

Identified as one of four existing planning study areas along transit corridors within the City of Boston, Glover’s Corner serves as a component of a wider mayoral strategy to introduce housing units to the market, while at the same time concentrating density around major transit stops. However, this area, as well as many other neighborhoods, are feeling the housing crunch and are concerned about rising rents and a changing neighborhood character.

The vision for the Community Planning Team, and an area that I have been tasked with this summer, is to bring residents and the wider Dorchester community into the planning process. Their goal is to better understand the existing needs and desires of residents for their community, as well as their feelings about the future. It is also their intention to share what they know as professional planners about the existing conditions of the neighborhood, and how they feel some of the strengths and weaknesses of Glover’s Corner could be leveraged to improve the area for both current residents and new-comers.

The intentions for this community planning process for Glover’s Corner, as well as the other identified study areas, are to improve quality of life in both the sites themselves and Boston as a whole through increased development. While often highly contentious, there is so much to learn from the City of Boston in its efforts to align and meld its current building boom and population growth projects to existing Bostonians.”