SPCD Davis Square Public Realm Pilot 

Photos by Frank Santangelo 

Public Realm Pilot

The public realm in Davis Square has been part of the discussion from the beginning: sidewalks aren’t wide enough, there’s not enough places to sit down, and the community path doesn’t connect among other things. It’s hard to wait for change. Streetscape and infrastructure projects cost millions of dollars and take years to design and construct. What we’re interested in doing is implementing AND measuring the impacts on short term improvements. It might not seem like much but we can get feedback, see how people use new spaces, and use the information to inform future planning efforts including streetscape projects.
We’re working with Gehl Architects again (the firm behind the Public Space Public Life Study) to pilot a few projects in Davis Square on June 12th and 13th. If you’re interested in helping, please email us at planning@somervillema.gov
Lighting, seating, and food trucks at Seven Hills Park

Cafe seating in the closed slip lane next to Mike’s and Blue Shirt Cafe

Visually connecting the community path with signage and balloons

Food Truck Schedule: Sunday, June 12th – Monday, June 13th 2016
Food trucks will be located along Meacham Rd. directly adjacent to Seven Hills Park.
Sunday, June 12th
11-8pm: Tenoch
Monday, June 13th
11-8pm: Tenoch 
4-8pm: Pennypackers
Project Materials
“What is Important to Me” Crowdsourcing Survey

“What is Important to Me” Survey Results

Visual Preference Survey Results

Asset Mapping Results

Dot Exercise Results

Event Presentations
Crowdsourcing Meeting (May 21st, 2013)

Visioning Sessions (July 17th, 2013 & July 30th, 2013)

Charrette Pin-Up Ideas

Relaunch Presentation

Data Sets
US Census Maps (Census Tracts, Western Somerville Blocks, Eastern Somerville Blocks)

Homeowner& Renter Demographics (2010 Census)

Income & Education Statistics (2011 ACS)

Assessed Property Values by Block (2003-2013)

Building Permits by Block (2004-2010)

Building Permit Construction Cost Totals by Block (2004-2010)

Data Descriptions

Parking Utilization Study

Streetscape Improvement Project
The City of Somerville and its consultant team have been working to design a series of improvements to the square that will offer increased safety, easier wayfinding, and traffic calming improvements for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. This includes upgraded sidewalks and crossings, new signals, better Community Path connectivity, and seating areas.
For the project goals and input documents, click here.
For the latest design scheme, click here.
Davis Square is one of Somerville’s busiest commercial districts. It has not received significant upgrades since the transformative 1984 Davis Square Action Plan which led to the construction of the Community Path, MBTA station, parking lots, and street improvements. The proposed Davis Square Streetscape Improvements, begun with initial public meetings in 2012, have been refined through additional meetings in 2013 and 2014 and directly reflect community input and the goals of the Somervision Comprehensive Plan. Along with continuing neighborhood planning, these improvements will help ensure continued investment and economic vitality of the square as well as the preservation of its vibrant atmosphere.
Project Timeline and Materials
6/21/12: Public Project Walk Around

6/26/12: Public Charrette (Principles and Objectives)

6/2012-8/2012: Public Input Survey (Summary of 550+ responses)

7/17/12: Community Meeting (Presentation)

8/07/12: Public Presentation (Presentation)

9/24/12: Community Meeting (Presentation)

11/1/12 Traffic Report

Winter 2012 Preliminary Design Recommendations (Report and Input Diagram)

5/21/13: Somerville by Design Crowdsourcing Meeting (Survey Results)

7/17/13, 7/30/13: Somerville by Design Visioning Sessions

9/9/13 – 9/11/13: Charrette with Pop Up Plaza and Pin-Up

Winter 2013-2014 Phase 2 Design

4/30/14: Community Design Update (Plans)

Fall-Winter 2014-2015: 75% Design

Landscape 75%

Pavement 75%

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