Category: Massachusetts

LOCUS announces new Attainable Housing and Social Equity Initiative Pilot Program


Across the country, market demand for homes in walkable, downtown neighborhoods is driving up housing costs. How can communities capitalize on this demand and create great neighborhoods that are attainable and equitable for people of all income levels?

LOCUS’ new Attainable Housing and Social Equity Initiative (AHSEI) Pilot Program is a private sector, place-based approach designed to address this challenge, in partnership with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University (GWU) and funded by the Barr Foundation. As part of the Pilot Program, LOCUS will be selecting a number of U.S. cities to participate in strategies aimed at ensuring accessibility and social equity in great walkable urban places. The first of these cities is Somerville, MA, where our work kicked off at a public meeting in July.

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Coming soon: “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Boston”


Walkable real estate development projects and places are on the rise nationwide. Over the past year, LOCUS has looked at how these trends are playing out in Atlanta and Washington, DC.

On March 11, we’ll reveal new analysis of which walkable urban places—or “walkUPs”—are changing the real estate landscape in another major American city: Boston

The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Boston will, for the first time ever, analyze the different forms and economic use of all land use across metro Boston and rank Boston-area communities based on economic and social equity metrics. 

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Real estate developers connect with local leaders and new opportunities at LOCUS LinkUp in Boston

warwick-ibcWarwick, RI’s Intermodal Business Center was one of the new projects discussed at last month’s LOCUS LinkUp. Photo via City Center Warwick.

On November 20, 2014, real estate developers and local leaders came together at a LOCUS LinkUp to discuss new opportunities for building walkable neighborhoods in the greater Boston area.

LOCUS President Christopher Leinberger framed the day’s discussion with a preview of forthcoming research part of The WalkUp Wake Up Call: Boston, which will take an in-depth look at where future development will likely occur in the region. Boston is already home to some of the country’s most walkable places—LinkUp attendees got a sneak peak of how that trend will bear out in coming years.

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LOCUS Member Benefits: LinkUps

At LOCUS LinkUps, smart growth deals between local leaders and real estate developers and investors get done.

When great new walkable real estate gets built, both communities and developers reap the benefits. But strong relationships are key: Smart growth-minded local leaders must connect with developers and investors—in the right place, at the right time—to get the ball rolling.

That’s where our LOCUS LinkUps come in.

In 2013, LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors launched the LinkUp program to bring smart growth-minded local leaders and real estate professionals together. Through these private networking events, key players get the opportunity to discuss new smart growth deal opportunities and objectives for creating walkable, sustainable development. Every LinkUp features networking opportunities with top real estate CEOs and executives, information about available sites from local officials, and expert guidance on supporting the development of walkable places through policy change.

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Spotlight on Sustainability: A smart growth corridor plan in North Central Massachusetts

Hmong Focus Group
A Hmong community focus group providing input for the Wachussett Smart Growth Corridor Plan.

A new smart growth corridor plan for North Central Massachusetts will set the stage for housing growth, mixed-use development, new jobs, and tourism opportunities, thanks to the combined efforts of local authorities and community leaders.

The Wachusett Smart Growth Corridor Plan is an ambitious effort to transform the North Central Massachusetts region into a destination for visitors and a transit-accessible magnet for housing and employment growth. The Montachusett Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) is working to coordinate the process, with three nearby municipalities—Fitchburg, Leominster, and Westminster, MA—serving as partners.

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Developers and investors are invited to explore the next walkable places in New England

framingham-maResidents, private stakeholders and town officials are working together to revitalize Downtown Framingham, MA. Photo via Choose Framingham.

This fall, one event will offer participants the chance to find out where and how New England’s next walkable places will be built. Will you be in the room?

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Smart Growth America’s state smart growth partners meet to discuss shared goals

Coalition members visited Winthrop, MA, pictured above, to learn about smart growth strategies in the small coastal town. Photo via Facebook.over 50 organizations from across the country as part of our coalition of allied non-profits. Many of these organizations work exclusively on smart growth issues in their respective states, and last month these partners came together to discuss shared challenges and goals.

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LOCUS talks about new development in Somerville and state policy change at two events in Massachusetts

Somerville, MA
The City of Somerville, MA collected ideas from residents for new development around forthcoming Green Line stations at a public meeting. Photo by Interactive Somerville via Flickr.

In November LOCUS joined two events in Massachusetts to connect real estate developers there with both local and state officials, and to discuss the policy changes needed to facilitate walkable, sustainable development throughout Massachusetts.

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