CONSULTING PLANNERS OF MASSACHUSETTS
Expertise for Communities
The moment you step out of your home, the decisions you make and the challenges you are facing moving through the city are highly dependent on people’s gender. Despite the still common belief that urban mobility is gender-neutral by default, researchers and practitioners are becoming aware of the inherently different behavioral patterns and experiences of women navigating city streets. We will now take a look at how women practitioners are working on the topic of gender equality in mobility in Copenhagen, Paris and Brussels.
Boston's downtown was clobbered by COVID. Foot traffic is still around half of what it was pre-pandemic, as people abandon their high-rise offices to work from home. According to city officials, only 30% of offices downtown are currently occupied.
City officials have been thinking about how to breathe life back into the once-busy neighborhood. In a plan released Thursday, the downtown Boston they envision has more food trucks, shops and tourists. It has performances, a lively nightlife and more housing — including affordable units.
"One of the best things that the many painstaking months of lockdown brought us was the innovation of curbside patios that have become an enduring norm in cities like Toronto, where the streets now feel absolutely alive with all sorts of bustling new outdoor dining spaces."
"More cities and states are recognizing the harmful impacts of minimum parking requirements, which in many cases have accelerated sprawl and raised the cost of housing construction.
...the history of minimum parking requirements, which began as a reaction to the sudden influx of automobiles to cities as the invention became more affordable. “As more people bought cars, a self-fulfilling cycle set in: cities started to separate districts by use, assuming everyone can drive from their residential area to their shopping area to their office. Large highways began to cut through town centers, making it harder to cycle or walk.”
"What Disney does for fictional landscapes, planners must do for real landscapes.
Disneyland came about precisely at the peak of and, I would argue, because of mid-20th century suburbanization. As the country was becoming deliberately dull and homogenous in the late 1950s, a place of excitement, escape, and, indeed, ersatz urbanism became more marketable. Disneyland promoted suburbanization in order to offer an antidote to suburbanization. The uglier [Anaheim] is, and the less pleasant that walk is, the more exciting those other -lands become.”
Weston & Sampson welcomed Sam Moffett, AICP, as a Senior Principal Planner in its Reading office. Sam has 25 years of environmental planning experience, with a specialty in transportation infrastructure permitting and planning. He has also provided electrical infrastructure siting, planning, and permitting services for electrical utility clients, provided NEPA compliance services for transportation agencies and military clients, completed permitting for merchant solar electric facilities, and prepared critical issues and siting studies for proposed merchant power generation facilities. At Weston & Sampson, Sam will provide leadership for the firm’s growth in the infrastructure design, planning, and permitting marketplace.
A certified planner, Sam earned his MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University and his BA in Government from the Harvard University Extension School.
"Critics of inclusionary zoning frequently point to San Francisco as an example of what not to do. A sluggish year of development has some local politicians ready to reconsider the city’s program."
David Lee and his late partner, Stull and Lee founder Don Stull, are 2022 recipients of the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Alumni Award. The award, which was founded and led by the GSD Alumni Council, recognizes and celebrates "the diversity, leadership, range and impact of GSD alumni within their communities and across their areas of practice."
David wrote: "Don was a friend and mentor and a truly exceptional leader and pioneer as a Black man in a predominantly White profession, having established our award-winning architecture, urban design, and planning firm in 1966. After starting with the firm while still in grad school in 1969, I became a named partner in 1983. I was pleased to take the helm of Stull and Lee, Inc. as president after Don's retirement in 2013, continuing to grow our portfolio of urban design and architecture projects around the country.
I am truly grateful for the many personal and professional relationships made during my years as a GSD student and adjunct faculty member. My GSD experiences were priceless and I appreciate the support and encouragement of family and friends through the years!"
"The city is eyeing a controversial proposal to end parking requirements at new buildings in an effort to lower development costs and create more housing."
More likely to trip chain or to transport children and groceries, women around the world stand to benefit from easily accessible cargo bikes.
With vast gender differences impacting mobility choices, urban planners and researchers have been working to uncover workable solutions for closing the gap and ensuring women have the same transport opportunities as men. Some cities, like Tartu, Estonia, have approached this through a reconsideration of the built environment, reorganizing their city to create 15-minute areas, with facilities for everyday life — supermarkets, schools, doctors — all within a walking distance from the place of living