Somerville by Design: Union Square

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Community planning series started December 17th at the Old Post Office Building 237 Washington Street

We are pleased to announce the schedule for the “Somerville by Design”
neighborhood planning effort in Union Square, which will result in a neighborhood plan that informs zoning and future development. How do you see the future of Union Square? We need your input!

Union Square has been the subject of numerous planning studies over the past 20 years, with mixed results and a range of implementation success. The Somerville by Design process for Union Square will differ from past efforts in that there will be immediate and identifiable outcomes. As many of you know, the city is in the process of a zoning code upgrade, which will be directly informed by this neighborhood conversation, and the green line expansion’s associated station-area development will dovetail with this effort and result in tangible built results within the coming years. Join fellow residents, business owners, community organizations, and property owners with City officials in preparing a plan that will guide public and private investment in the Union Square neighborhood, from Central Street to the McGrath Highway, and from Prospect Hill to Boynton Yards.

At all events, we will make an effort to provide updates on the green line expansion, US2 station-area projects, and other evolving work that is of interest to residents and impacts this planning effort.

CROWDSOURCING EVENT
December 17
Old Post Office
The process will kick off with a Crowdsourcing event on December 17th at 6:30 PM at the Old Post Office. The goal of this event is to ask local stakeholders to help establish channels of communication within the existing social fabric of the neighborhood.

VISIONING SESSIONS
January 7 & 31
Old Post Office
Following this month’s Crowdsourcing event, there will be two visioning meetings, with identical agendas. The first visioning meeting is on Wednesday, January 7th at 6:30 PM at the Old Post Office. The second meeting will be on January 31st, with a 9:00 AM walking tour and followed by a 10:00 AM visioning meeting at the Old Post Office. We are holding this meeting twice to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to share their vision for the future of Union Square.

DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES & CONSTRAINTS WORKSHOPS
February 4, 11, 18, & 25
Location TBD
Four workshops will be held to gain insight into key development issues such as traffic and parking, project financing, architectural possibilities, and market conditions. These workshops area all open to the public and will be lead jointly by the City and the US2 consultant team. Workshops will take place every Wednesday in February at 6:30 PM, including February 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Specific topics and location will be forthcoming.

DESIGN CHARRETTE
March 9, 10, & 11
Old Post Office
From March 9th to the 11th, we will hold an “open studio” design charrette in the Old Post Office. For three days straight, from 9am to 8pm, you can drop in at the studio and work with City staff and designers to draw and discuss ideas about the future of the Union Square neighborhood. Civic space, jobs and housing, business development, traffic management, arts and culture: it’s all on the table. We will work together to generate as many ideas as possible, and at a “Pin-Up Presentation” on March 11th, we will ask you to select the ideas that are worth keeping, those that need more work, and those that should be thrown out.

PLAN OPEN HOUSE
May 13
Old Post Office
During the early spring we will take what we heard and refine the plans, and come back for an open-house presentation on May 13th.
Stay tuned at http://www.somervillebydesign.com for more information. Contribute to the conversation through social media with #PlanUnionSquare.

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