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The Romney Framework for Building Great Communities. Douglas I. Foy Secretary of Commonwealth Development Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Sprawl Means. High land consumption per person and disinvestment in cities

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the romney framework for building great communities
The Romney Framework for Building Great Communities

Douglas I. Foy

Secretary of Commonwealth Development

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

sprawl means
Sprawl Means. . .
  • High land consumption per person and disinvestment in cities
  • Growth in daily miles of travel, nearly constant gridlock, no alternative to driving for many
  • Air and water pollution
  • Loss of forests, farms, other open space
  • Low housing production, limited to McMansions
  • Obesity and chronic health problems
  • Isolation of seniors – our fastest-growing cohort
investing in great cities towns 10 first steps
Office for Commonwealth Development

Fix It First/Infrastructure

Commonwealth Capital

Transit-Oriented Development

Development-Oriented Transportation

Smart Growth Zoning Act

City and Town Center Redevelopment

Highway Program: Communities First

Environmental Policy

Local Capacity Building

Investing in Great Cities & Towns: 10 First Steps
1 office for commonwealth development
(1) Office for Commonwealth Development
  • “Super-secretariat” linking transportation, housing, environment and energy agencies
  • Ensures consistent state support for growth in cities, town centers, and other walkable, infrastructure-rich areas
    • Infrastructure programs, other spending, regulation
    • Incentives for cities and towns to reform zoning
2 fix it first infrastructure
(2) Fix It First: Infrastructure
  • MassHighway: Roads and Bridges
    • Priority for repair and rehabilitation of streets, roads, structurally deficient bridges
    • Bridge program to be doubled
  • Dep’t of Conservation and Recreation: Parks
    • Merger and reform of state parks agencies
    • Capital budget doubled in 2004
  • MBTA: “State of Good Repair” program
  • Public Housing: Introduce private investment?
3 commonwealth capital
(3) Commonwealth Capital
  • Common administration of discretionary capital spending to ensure
    • Consistency of projects with smart growth
    • Alignment of municipal policies and zoning with state interest in smart growth
    • Coordination of agency decision-making
  • Includes economic and community development, land protection, off-street parking, wastewater infrastructure and other programs
commonwealth capital
Commonwealth Capital
  • Reviviendo Gateway Project, Lawrence –Governor’s Smart Growth Leadership Award Winner
4 transit oriented development
(4) Transit-Oriented Development
  • Commonwealth Development/MBTA Program
    • Community-based master planning -- stations with surplus MBTA property
    • Re-zoning by first group of communities underway
  • Funding
    • New $30 M program for parking, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, housing
    • $40 M for infrastructure to support early projects
  • MassHousing Priority Development Fund
    • $100 M, including planning grants and financing
urban transit oriented development
Urban Transit-Oriented Development
  • Maverick Gardens Hope VI Mixed-Income Redevelopment, East Boston –Governor’s Smart Growth Leadership Award Winner
suburban town center transit oriented development
Suburban Town Center Transit-Oriented Development
  • 10-12 Summer Street, Manchester –Governor’s Smart Growth Leadership Award Winner
5 development oriented transportation
(5) Development-Oriented Transportation
  • “Fix it First” doesn’t mean “fix it only” – near-term transit and highway improvements support city- and town-center growth
    • Boston: Silver Line Phase III
    • Worcester: Route 146
    • Pittsfield: East Street
  • Future transit and highway corridor projects will be conditioned on smart growth land-use plans and zoning
6 smart growth zoning act chapter 40r
(6) Smart Growth Zoning Act(Chapter 40R)
  • Incentives to create “smart growth zoning districts” in
    • City, town, village centers/commercial districts
    • Around transit stations
    • Other “smart growth” locations
  • Criteria = infrastructure + walkability
  • Must have 8-20 units/acre, affordable units, housing or mixed use
  • Incentives: State $ for re-zoning and issuing building permits, priority in grant programs
7 city and town center redevelopment
(7) City and Town Center Redevelopment
  • State Historic Preservation Tax Credit signed into law
    • Focus on smart growth, affordable housing
    • Current cap: $15 million/year
  • Upper-story downtown redevelopment -- Housing Development Support Program (CDBG) funding doubled
  • “Rebirth of Older Industrial Cities” project with NAIOP, Northeastern University, 12 cities
    • Addressing barriers to urban economic development
revitalizing historic downtowns
Revitalizing Historic Downtowns
  • Amesbury –Governor’s Smart Growth Leadership Award Winner
8 highway program communities first
(8) Highway Program:Communities First
  • New Highway Project Development and Design Manual to incorporate principles of
    • Context-sensitive design
    • Accommodation of all modes (inc. peds, bikes, transit)
    • Traffic calming
  • Being produced through open, collaborative process
  • Goal: most progressive manual in nation
9 environmental policy
(9) Environmental Policy
  • Environmental review and permitting
    • Fast track for smart growth projects
  • State Revolving Fund (water infrastructure)
    • Reforms to facilitate sewering for town center growth and get tougher on sewer extensions to outlying areas
  • Brownfields redevelopment
    • State support targeted to cities and town centers
smart brownfields redevelopment
Smart Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Heywood Memorial Library, Gardner –Governor’s Smart Growth Leadership Award Winner
10 local capacity building
(10) Local Capacity Building
  • Technical assistance grants to cities and towns
    • Priority Development Fund (Dep’t of Housing and Community Development/MassHousing)
    • Smart Growth Grants (Environmental Affairs)
  • Commonwealth Development agency staff support
  • Governor’s Awards for Smart Growth