Mayor Curtatone and City’s community-driven plan for area around new Green Line Station earn
recognition from the Congress for the New Urbanism New England
SOMERVILLE –The City of Somerville’s community-driven plan for the area around the future Green Line station in Gilman Square has won recognition for its people-centric design from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) New England Chapter, which will also honor Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone for his leadership in urban planning and advocacy at the organization’s annual awards gala on Oct. 21.
Using its cutting-edge Somerville by Design public process, which involves residents and community members in the brainstorming and refining of physical design plans for neighborhoods, the City of Somerville developed the Gilman Station Area Plan to guide the future growth of this urban neighborhood where a Green Line Extension station is scheduled to open in 2019.
CNU New England’s annual Urbanism Awards honor design, plans and policies that best embody the principals of New Urbanism, honoring plans at the block, neighborhood, district and regional scales. The Gilman Station Area Plan will be honored with an award at the block scale for its rethinking of this intersection with a pedestrian-first approach.
In announcing the award, CNU New England said that the plan “creates a human scaled space at the new transit station, taming a car-oriented intersection. This project is an excellent example of how buildings and streets shape space for people.” CNU New England also noted the plan’s “excellent” renderings that illustrate the ideas generated by the community through the Somerville by Design process, including the tower at the center of the square that could become a neighborhood landmark.
The Urban Achievement Award given by CNU New England honors individuals, firms and organizations for a career of work in the realm of urban design, planning, policy and advocacy. This year’s award will be bestowed upon Mayor Curtatone, who CNU New England said has been at the forefront of issues concerning urbanism, walkability and placemaking.
In announcing the award, CNU New England said that the Mayor “has been instrumental in guiding Somerville to its reputation today as an urban laboratory promoting high intensity, high quality development, form-based coding as the preferred regulatory choice, and alternative modes of travel, including biking, walking, and transit.” The organization also noted that Somerville is working toward adopting the first citywide form-based code in New England that will guide redevelopment of the City as the Green Line Extension is built.