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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 05-06-2015, 03:57 PM   #1
JeffDowntown
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Imagine Boston 2030

The Walsh adiminstration is kicking off the first city-wide planning effort in 50 years.

You can get involved at:

imagine.boston.gov

They even mention archBoston as a resource!
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:09 PM   #2
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

This is great and overdue.
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Old 05-06-2015, 04:28 PM   #3
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

So what do they mean when they mention contributing in an online forum like here on AB? Will there be some poor soul sitting in the basement of city hall who has to go through the site and look for ideas?
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Well it's your guess as well as mine, deh74; according to a Tweet I read today, the mayor is saying there's no staff or specific plans in place - he'll be hiring someone to lead up the project.

I'm on board, don't get me wrong!
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Old 05-07-2015, 02:19 AM   #5
vanshnookenraggen
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

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Originally Posted by deh74 View Post
So what do they mean when they mention contributing in an online forum like here on AB? Will there be some poor soul sitting in the basement of city hall who has to go through the site and look for ideas?
They probably already are.

I'm just going to email them the Green Line Reconfig thread.

Edit: Reading the 1965 plan it looks like they recommended connecting the Riverside line to Huntington Ave as well! Get on that, Boston.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:30 AM   #6
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Wasn't this going to be called "Boston 2020"? So the housing that was going to be 5 years too late is now going to be 15 years too late?
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:08 AM   #7
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

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Wasn't this going to be called "Boston 2020"? So the housing that was going to be 5 years too late is now going to be 15 years too late?
Separate initiatives.

Housing plan is for 2020

Major citywide master plan is for 2030
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:00 PM   #8
kc
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Globe article about the initiative:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/2015/05/0...BFJ/story.html
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:27 PM   #9
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

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Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
They probably already are.

I'm just going to email them the Green Line Reconfig thread.

Edit: Reading the 1965 plan it looks like they recommended connecting the Riverside line to Huntington Ave as well! Get on that, Boston.
I know a lot of people at MassDOT that browse AB regularly so I'm sure there are BRA people and folks from plenty of other agencies that do too. I don't work for DOT, but I was chewed out for posting images I took from a "behind the scenes" tour of the Big Dig a few years ago. I also haven't been invited on any more behind the scenes tours.
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Old 05-07-2015, 04:14 PM   #10
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Van,

Well done for sending the Green Line Reconfig thread. There are many worthy transit projects in the Boston area that have been discussed on AB but the green line solutions discussed in that forum really give a full breadth of what is possible with that most fundamental service. Any staffer who takes the time to read the thread in its entirety (with google maps open so they can contextualize the references) will basically get a master's degree in some of the most poignant mobility solutions for Boston in what equates to about a morning's worth of work.

The green line gets a bad rap but it really is an amazing service. That's one of the things that pops into my head when Bev Scott says that the T is a system 'others would die to have.' Many of the riding public don't realize that with some simple interventions and surgical expansions you could basically unlock the service's true potential and cause a mobility bonanza. Let's hope someone in the know gives that thread a solid look.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:42 AM   #11
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Welcome back, Boston 400.

From a Boston Globe article back in 2008...
Menino told area business leaders in 1997 that Boston 400, as the planning process was called, would be the "boldest thing to happen in this city in a long, long time," asserting that it would "not become a document collecting dust on a shelf."

It is true that the plan, which was developed with a budget of $575,000, is not collecting dust and sitting on a shelf. But that is only because it was never published, making it what Euchner considers an embarrassing flop.

"To this day, I still hear from people saying, 'Whatever happened to that thing?' and I'm kind of embarrassed and sad," said Euchner, the urban planner who earned about $125,000 over nearly three years as a full-time consultant on the project.
Here's hoping that this time around the report will actually get published and acted on.
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Old 05-09-2015, 06:38 AM   #12
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
Edit: Reading the 1965 plan it looks like they recommended connecting the Riverside line to Huntington Ave as well! Get on that, Boston.
The Huntington-Brookline Village-Highland Branch to Riverside plans goes back even further to the 1926 "Report on Improved Transportation Facilities in Boston". The proposed alignment back then was a subway extension from the Pleasant St, portaling up near Buckingham St to follow the NYNY&H main to roughly Mass Ave x Huntington where the rapid transit would spur off to Huntington and lead out into surface tracks from Symphony to a terminal on Tremont St in Roxbury. The hop-over to Brookline Village and the Highland branch was proposed as a "future" ext.

EDIT: A lot of the proposals were meant to be redundant (e.g. Fairmount and main line rapid transit to HP), it's not like the Commission recommended building all of them - clearly, since so little was actually built.

There's a lot in this report too - I think 2030 and MassDOT could do a lot of good in just going back through the various reports from '26, '45, '66, '69, '72, '78 to see what's been planned (if an area could accommodate rapid transit even a 100 years ago, there's a good case that the "bones" of the neighborhood are good enough to do so today as well). Some of the other rapid transit gems from the report (while many are no longer possible, sure) are: Western Route to Reading/Wakefield with a spur to Medford Center, NH main to the Woob via Winchester with a spur at the old Central Mass division to run two branches to Bedford via Arlington and Lexington and a spur to Waltham via Belmont, ext of the old Charlestown El via the Saugus branch to Saugus and further, two proposed alignments to reach Dedham - extension of the Roxbury branch to Dedham via Needham (which you've discussed ad infinitum here) and extension of a rapid transit along the NYNH&H main (NEC) from FH to Dedham via HP and Readville, a rapid transit conversion of the NYNH&H midland division (aka Fairmount), and an extension to Braintree along the Old Colony (which actually happened a lifetime later).

The report also connected the Western Route rapid transit with the Fairmount via North Union and South Stations and studied a circumferential route, though didn't come up with an alignment (which Boston had asked prior in 1923). 2030 has a a lot of digging to do.

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Old 05-09-2015, 09:23 AM   #13
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

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Here's hoping that this time around the report will actually get published and acted on.
Given the politics of any planning effort that is a real risk. It would be best if they released early milestone reports with the most promising alternatives for public feedback. Treat it as a planning process rather than something that is going to be "final" because expecting a final plan for the whole of Boston that even a majority could agree on is a bit silly.

Also, Why just Boston? Boston isn't a viable hub city without the surrounding communities. Most other big cities incorporated their surrounding cities over a hundred years ago. Most of Boston's neighbors decided to remain independent with the vote in Cambridge killing the expansion to the North of the Charles, but that doesn't mean planning independently will work. This should be done in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, especially for transportation planning.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:02 PM   #14
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

My "Imagine Boston 2030":
- Government Center redeveloped. including elimination of the City Hall / City hall Plaza area
- Charles River Park eliminated and redeveloped into a human scaled neighborhood
- Light/heavy rail systems and commuter rail reconfigured/developed
- Expressways inside Route 128/I-95 tolled
- Exciting and innovative architecture and some very tall (taller than the Pru and JHT) skyscrapers developed
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:36 PM   #15
tangent
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

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My "Imagine Boston 2030":
- Charles River Park eliminated and redeveloped into a human scaled neighborhood
I'd like to see them keep the green space and pedestrian walkways, but introduce ground level retail, commercial, market space in or around the ground level of the existing buildings. Make it part of the city again, but don't just nuke the West End again with a blank slate/West End nostalgia approach.
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Old 05-09-2015, 05:50 PM   #16
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Yeah, it's illegal to build nice neighborhoods anymore in the style of the old West End. I don't even think we know how, even if zoning didn't make it illegal.

Gonna have to figure out some other way to make things nice. Or re-legalize/resurrect the old ways somehow. Time machine?
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Old 05-10-2015, 07:34 AM   #17
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

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Yeah, it's illegal to build nice neighborhoods anymore in the style of the old West End. I don't even think we know how, even if zoning didn't make it illegal.

Gonna have to figure out some other way to make things nice. Or re-legalize/resurrect the old ways somehow. Time machine?
Zoning makes everything illegal.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:03 AM   #18
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Only because of how it was written. I am not saying zoning is the best idea but if you look at it in a general sense as zoning is just a way to make sure that what is built is what is desired in and of itself it is neither bad or good. How is is used determines if it is bad or good. The problem with zoning currently is it has lost all relation between what is desired and what it allows so it fails at its job.
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Old 05-10-2015, 08:46 AM   #19
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

Because it's topical:

http://www.newgeography.com/content/...al-engineering
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:42 AM   #20
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Re: Imagine Boston 2030

^ Busses -- great article link. You are correct, very topical!
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