Residents will brainstorm in Somerville by Design workshops about playgrounds, recreation fields, community gardens, civic plaza spaces
SOMERVILLE – Do you value Somerville’s parks and playgrounds? Do you think the city’s street life makes it a great place? Have some ideas you’d like to share? The City of Somerville is inviting residents to participate in “Green Spaces, Community Places” workshops in March to learn about the city’s open spaces and cook up some ideas that will shape the city’s civic open space plans.
The workshops will bring the successful Somerville by Design community planning process, previously used to plan around city squares and Green Line Extension stations, to the city’s open and community spaces. The workshops take place on Thursday, March 6, at the East Somerville Community School cafeteria, 50 Cross St., and on Tuesday, March 11, at the West Somerville Neighborhood School cafeteria, 177 Powder House Boulevard. Both workshops are the same, so residents can attend either one, and each runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
In holding two workshops on two ends of Somerville, the City aims to engage residents citywide in generating ideas for planning Somerville’s open spaces. Residents will learn about data on Somerville’s open spaces and discussions will revolve around playgrounds, recreational fields, community gardens and civic plaza spaces.
The March workshops will be followed by a public engagement art project travelling to different open spaces across the city and culminating in an “Open Space Open House” in late spring. The workshops, art project and open house will form the public input component of the 2015 Somerville Open Space and Recreation Plan, a State required document that guides civic space decisions in the City.
“We’ve built or renovated over 25 parks and open spaces in the last 10 years, but if we’re going to continue our progress and meet the community’s goal in SomerVision of 125 new acres of open space in the densest city in New England, we’re going to need everybody’s best ideas,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “I invite everyone to attend these workshops to create the civic spaces, parks and open spaces that we all want and that will invite people out of their homes, strengthen our neighborhoods and make our city vibrant.”
Somerville by Design is a cutting-edge approach to community planning that uses resident know-how to solve challenging physical planning and urban design issues. It makes planning fun, using highly visual, interactive techniques such as “Open Studio” design sessions, neighborhood meetings, block walking and online surveys. Most important, it provides multiple ways for the public to get involved in generating and refining physical design plans for sites and neighborhoods that are driven by community member’s preferences and creative ideas. In 2012, hundreds of residents and businesspersons participated in the Somerville by Design “Station Area Planning Series” for Gilman Square, Lowell Street / Magoun Square, and Ball Square neighborhoods that will soon be served by the Green Line Extension.
For more information on Somerville by Design: Green Spaces, Community Places visit the Somerville by Design Blog at http://www.somervillebydesign.com.