Expertise for Communities


  • Wednesday, May 18, 2022 5:45 PM | Anonymous

    Former long-term CPM president Larry Koff's letter against closing the Hynes Convention Center is a good read. 

    The Boston Globe_Death of the Hynes would cap the neglect of a valuable resource_04 27 22.pdf

  • Thursday, May 12, 2022 1:02 PM | Leonardi Aray (Administrator)

    Carol Todreas, CPM members, reimagines retail for the downtown

    Read Carol's article

  • Monday, April 18, 2022 10:40 AM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    The City of Austin says it will give people from gentrifying neighborhoods priority in the application process for more than two dozen homes it's selling to low-income families,” reports Audrey McGlinchy for KUT.

    “This is the first time the city plans to use what it calls a ‘preference policy,’ which was approved by council members in 2018,” according to McGlincy. Planetizen shared news of the new policy in September 2021, when the city identified a development site for the program. The deployment of the law, originally intended for late 2019, was delayed by the pandemic.

    “To benefit from the program, people first need to be making less than Austin's family median income; for a single-person household that amounts to $69,250 a year,” according to McGlinchy. “Additionally, people need to prove they've been affected by gentrification or that they have generational ties to the city. That can mean they live or have lived — as far back as 2000 — in a neighborhood in the process of gentrifying; that's the process in which wealthy people move to a historically middle- or low-income neighborhood and housing costs rise.”

  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022 10:27 PM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    “Roads and street networks are designed for kids to walk in a safe manner,” Kato said. Among the factors, he said: Drivers in Japan are taught to yield to pedestrians. Speed limits are low. Neighborhoods have small blocks with lots of intersections. That means kids have to cross the street a lot—but also keeps drivers going slow, out of self-interest if nothing else.

    The streets themselves are also different. Many small streets do not have raised sidewalks but depend on pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers to share the road. Curbside parking is rare, which creates better visibility for drivers and pedestrians and helps give the smaller streets of big Japanese cities their distinctive feel. In fact, I first heard about Hajimete no otsukai from Rebecca Clements, a research fellow at the University of Sydney who has written a dissertation on Japan’s approach to parking: Car-buyers must show proof of an off-street parking space to make their purchase. For Clements, the show is evidence of how Japan gives children a “right to the city....

  • Thursday, April 07, 2022 11:48 AM | Leonardi Aray (Administrator)

    By Mark Favermann, urban designer, public artist and member of CPM Executive Committee.

    Given the current situation, any attempts to enrich our knowledge of the built environment are valuable.

    To paraphrase my thoughtful, scholarly friend and colleague Dr. Nir Buras, architectural literacy empowers everyone to engage in what should be a public dialogue about urban design, enabling planners and designers to propose forms that the public can understand and appreciate. At its heart, the urban experience is egalitarian. Everyone should be able to comprehend architectural language and its approaches.

    Read more.

  • Wednesday, March 30, 2022 9:50 AM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    As mayor of an inland city in southern Brazil across three decades, Lerner transformed a metropolis of just under 3 million residents into a thriving, globally famous laboratory of livability. Lerner died this week at the age of 83, leaving behind a legacy of high-return, low-cost urban innovations that have been copied all over the planet. You live in his kind of city more than you think you do, and in a well-run world that would be even more true.

  • Tuesday, March 29, 2022 12:57 PM | Leonardi Aray (Administrator)
    Carol Todreas,

    principal at Todreas Hanley Associates and long time CPM member, shares her thoughts on the current state of the retail business. 

  • Monday, March 21, 2022 3:46 PM | Leonardi Aray (Administrator)

    Cambridge is reviewing zoning to allow shared Electric Vehicle Chargers, private car share programs and expanded micromobility rental platforms.

    The City of Cambridge has started consideration of a zoning amendment that would allow owners of Electric Vehicle charging stations in residential districts to offer their chargers for rent to people who lack access to their own EV charger. The zoning amendment would also allow individuals to rent their private cars and host micromobility platforms like Bird Scooters in residential districts. All three of these activities are currently illegal in residential districts because they are considered commercial uses that zoning does not allow. The zoning petition will be heard by the Cambridge Planning Board on May 3rd and the Ordinance Committee on May 4th.

    Filed by former 7-term Cambridge City Councilor Craig Kelley and called the Cambridge Transportation De-Carbonization and Congestion Mitigation Bill, this zoning petition is a necessary step to meet Cambridge’s stated goal of electrifying personal cars because, as in many urban areas, most Cambridge residents lack access to a dedicated driveway space in which they can charge an EV and public charging spots are very inconvenient. The Bill would also expand the reductions in personal car ownership attributed to car share companies like Zipcar by allowing anyone to rent their vehicle no matter where they live. Platform-based peer-to-peer car share programs like Turo and Getaround already operate throughout America, including in Cambridge, and modifying zoning to meet this reality will help them expand their services. Finally, allowing micromobility platforms to operate in residential districts will create market competition to Blue Bike and help this important personal mobility option expand in dense urban markets.

    To learn more about this ground-breaking zoning proposal or to get involved in helping assure its passage, contact CPM member Craig Kelley at or read the zoning text here

  • Friday, March 18, 2022 10:56 AM | Michaela Morse (Administrator)

    Consulting Planners of Mass. is excited to continue our Planner of the Month series by featuring long-time CPM member Lynne Sweet. This spotlight on our members enables us to learn more about the important work they are doing as consulting planners, and offers us an opportunity to share some of their insights into many aspects of the planning profession.

    Lynne Sweet is the Founder and Principal of LDS Consulting Group, a full-service consulting firm that has been in action for 22 years. She spoke with CPM President Leonardi Aray and shared her experience in market research, land use and permitting, and the affordable housing industry, as well as her own lessons in work-life balance and some positive changes brought by the pandemic. Watch the interview below or refer to the table of contents for a section that interests you.

    Table of Contents

      • Lynne's intro – 0:00-01:04
      • Current projects – 01:05
      • How the pandemic has impacted clients' requests – 02:54
      • Personal lessons from the pandemic – 05:04
      • Tough commentary in public meetings – 06:10
      • Zoom vs. in-person public meetings – 07:18
      • Lynne's community & favorite areas – 08:29
      • Why CPM – 09:15


    This interview was recorded in December 2021. Lynne joined CPM's Executive Committee in early 2022 and looks forward to furthering CPM's contributions to the planning community.

    If you are interested in suggesting yourself or a fellow CPM member as a future Planner of the Month, please reach out to CPM President Leonardi Aray at

  • Thursday, March 10, 2022 10:35 AM | Daphne Politis (Administrator)

    The streets of Manhattan’s touristy Meatpacking District are going car-free forever after Mayor Bill de Blasio closed them and dozens of others to regular car traffic during the height of COVID. 

    “We see the Meatpacking District as an ideal location to promote and support changes to the public realm that emphasize pedestrians, promote foot traffic for businesses, support outdoor café culture, and allow for more cultural programming on our streets,” BID Director Jeffrey LeFrancois told Time Out New York.

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