Katherine Leigh Wolf, MUP 2018
Organization: Boston Planning & Development Agency, Boston, MA
Sponsor: Joint Center for Housing Studies Community Service Fellowship
The Context – PLAN Initiatives
” Much of what makes the launch of the Glover’s Corner Study Area so interesting and indicative of the wider context within the City of Boston lies within the framework of a national housing crisis, as well as regional growth as a brain hub, attracting top talent and industry leaders to Greater Boston.
In order to address these existing pressures, and population growth to come, through the leadership of Mayor Walsh the City of Boston has identified a need for housing production and the strategic introduction of housing units within the city of Boston over the next decade. Housing a Changing City, a plan created in conjunction with the city-wide master plan Imaging Boston 2030, sets the ambitious goal of bringing online 53,000 units of housing by 2030.
In anticipation of an expected 91,000 new Bostonians within this time frame, key neighborhoods and transit corridors have been identified to accommodate portions of this new growth. The PLAN initiatives grew out of this desire to be strategic and thoughtful in the placement of areas to develop, ensuring that newcomers both have access to city amenities and do not overwhelm existing infrastructure and systems.
Neighborhoods such as Dorchester, Roxbury, South Boston and Jamaica Plain have been identified as places that could accommodate this kind of transit oriented development, with their subsequent plans launched over the past year. PLAN Glover’s Corner is the most recent planning initiative to begin in Dorchester neighborhood. Over the past year, the BPDA and its Community Planning Team have worked to understand and evaluate how increased emphasis on development in the study area can serve existing and incoming residents by enhancing and bringing new amenities to the site.
As an intern with the Community Planning Team, it has been fascinating to learn from this group of people as they craft an agenda and a message that communicates a strategy for improvement of a place for the greater benefit of the city as a whole. Clearly it is not a simple process, and the opportunity to see the public sector operate as community planner has been an extremely rewarding experience.”