CONSULTING PLANNERS OF MASSACHUSETTS
Expertise for Communities
Jane Jacobs Lecture: Sustainability in Urban Communities
David Queeley is the director of eco-innovation for the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation working to combine neighborhood scale sustainability, transit-oriented development, renewable energy, waste reduction, and climate preparedness through resilience.
The Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics at Boston College Jane Jacobs Lecture series explores the challenges of political and community leadership in the urban context. Speakers are selected for expertise and practice creating diverse and vital communities, particularly in urban areas.
From Mass-ACP member Mark Favermann:
Mass-ACP member Jeff Levine, city planner and MIT researcher, explains:
"And all those apartments and houses downtown? ... if some of the changes we've seen from COVID-19 become permanent, they'll be invaluable for keeping those areas vibrant.
...What some cities have been doing in terms of encouraging housing downtown is a huge plus,...Local businesses need more disposable income nearby than they used to in order to survive. Looking at those areas that used to be offices above retail and really encouraging them to convert to residential I generally see as a good thing - particularly if we keep having a lot more remote working. Those offices are harder to rent as office space in the future."
"The proposed Gowanus Neighborhood Rezoning asks a whiter, wealthier community to absorb new growth in order to create new, permanent affordability in a high-opportunity neighborhood with strong transit access."
Peter L’Official has written an important book that speaks with powerful relevance to the state of Black life in America today — and the demands of Black Lives Matter.
Mark Favermann, long time member of the Mass. Association of Consulting Planner
The public needs to take a lesson from the private sector and capitalize on the downturn in real estate in order to guarantee affordable housing.
OPINION By David M. Abromowitz
We’ve been here in the real estate cycle before. In the early 1990s, a banking crisis combined with a real estate recession led to tens of thousands of rental units going into foreclosure. As the Resolution Trust Corporation began disposing $450 billion worth of real estate from collapsed savings banks, up for grabs was the fate of thousands of apartment buildings across the country.
Despite advocates pressing to turn these assets into affordable rental housing, hurdles in the system resulted in relatively few properties increasing the supply of permanently affordable housing. Instead, cash-rich for-profit investors moved nimbly to buy apartments from the public at a deep discount and later flipped them for a significant profit. Tens of billions of dollars in public investment into failed savings loans could have been converted into meaningful housing stock, but the opportunity was largely missed.
Each spring, first-year Masters students in the Tufts Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning (UEP) must complete the Field Projects course, where students work in teams of 3-5 on projects hosted by real-world partners. We invite you to propose a project idea for the Spring 2021 Field Projects course.
To submit a project idea, please email a brief (half-page to a page) description by September 8, 2020 to Penn Loh (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Field Projects host doc 2021.pdf
To see what past UEP Field Projects teams have accomplished, take a look at recent projects, which are posted online at: https://as.tufts.edu/uep/community/field-projects