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A Quarter More: Exploring Density in Metro Boston

There is a great shortage of housing throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While there is no single solution that will address this critical issue, one thing is for certain: each municipality needs to work on building more housing. Density, in of itself, is not a one-size-fits-all solution and can run the risk of further entrenching systemic issues of equity and sustainability. The role of designers and planners in advocating for healthier neighborhoods through densification is an essential component of building better urban spaces.

This workshop, hosted by the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA), through its Urban Design Committee, matched volunteers with municipal partners in Boston, Cambridge and Everett to examine possibilities for increased density and the necessary considerations for this growth.

Assuming that we need to increase density in our municipalities by about 25% in order to accommodate a growing population, each team was asked to consider the implications of this increase by itself and to examine how this will impact related issues of walkability and transportation, affordability, economic opportunity and infrastructure needs.

The workshop provided municipal partners with early stage proposals that consider ways to gently increase density and the impacts of this shift and generated points of comparison between these different municipalities for larger lessons learned.


Municipal Partners:
Kristina Ricco, Senior Planner, Boston Planning & Development Agency
Jared Staley, Planner II, Boston Planning & Development Agency

A. Vernon Woodworth FAIA
Pat Connolly
Devanshi Purohit AICP
Katie Cressall
Hannah Gibson
Rajji Desai
Thiago Lee


Municipal Partners:
Suzannah Bigolin, Urban Design Project Planner, Cambridge Community Development Department
Drew Kane AICP, Land Use Planner, City of Cambridge Community Development Department

Carley Elliott
Leonardi Aray AIA
Foteini Bouliari
Turid Terese Hovn Ohlsson
Patrick Cooleybeck


Municipal Partners:
Jay Monty, Director of Transportation and Mobility, City of Everett
Matt Lattanzi, Director Planning and Development / Assistant City Solicitor

Everett Team I:
Thomas Schultz AIA NCARB
Chris Herlich AICP
David Carlson
Ben Carlson

Everett Team II:
Rosalyn Elder AIA LEED AP
David Woshinsky AIA LEED AP
Jon Seward