Tag: Massachusetts

Introducing “Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown”

In 2010, global biotechnology company Biogen moved its offices from downtown Cambridge, MA, to a large suburban campus in Weston, 25 minutes away. In 2014, less than four years later, the company moved back.

“There is so much going on in Cambridge,” said Chris Barr, Biogen’s Associate Director of Community Relations. “It is such a vibrant place to live and work—it’s been a great move back for us.”

Biogen is one of hundreds of companies across the United States that have moved to and invested in walkable downtowns over the past five years. Our newest research takes a closer look at this emerging trend.

Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown is a new report released today by Smart Growth America in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield and the George Washington University School of Business’ Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis. The new report examines nearly 500 companies that moved to or expanded in walkable downtowns between 2010 and 2015, and includes interviews with more than 40 senior-level staff at those companies.

The results provide an overview of why these companies chose a walkable downtown and what they looked for when considering a new location. The report also includes ideas for cities about how they can create the kinds of places these companies seek.

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

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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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Hear the recap: The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014

On Tuesday we revealed The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, and to celebrate we hosted an online discussion with representatives from a few of this year’s top-scoring communities. If you missed the discussion, here’s a recap of the kickoff event.

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New walkable places research awaits developers at New England LinkUp

Looking forward to the real estate and local leaders networking opportunities at the upcoming LOCUS LinkUP in Boston, MA on November 20? Now, there’s even more to be excited about.

Representatives from LOCUS and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at The George Washington University (GWU) will provide an update to attendees on their ongoing research of Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs) across the metropolitan Boston area. This presentation will give developers unique insight into where New England’s next walkable places will be built.

The new Boston research to be presented builds on the growing body of work on Walkable Urban Places that LOCUS and The George Washington University have pioneered. Earlier this year, the two partnered to release Foot Traffic Ahead, a report by LOCUS President Christopher Leinberger ranking metropolitan areas by current and future walkable urbanism. In that report, the Boston metropolitan area ranked third.

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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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Massachusetts announces a “common vision” for housing, transportation, and the environment

Boston from above
Boston from above.

This post is crossposted from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a program run in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Smart Growth America.

In fiscally challenging times, states can achieve more when their agencies work together toward common goals. Massachusetts is doing exactly that.

Yesterday at a Multi-Family Housing Summit in Boston, three members of Governor Deval Patrick’s cabinet announced their common vision for growth in Massachusetts. The vision highlights the housing, transportation, and environment agencies’ strong commitment to plan ahead for future growth and the Commonwealth’s Sustainable Development Principles.

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick introduces new workforce housing initiatives, adopts GICD recommendations

The following is crossposted from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

In July 2012, the Governors’ Institute on Community Design met with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his Administration to identify policies and tool to meet the State’s housing needs. Last week, Governor Patrick announced an ambitious housing policy initiative that builds on those strategies.

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Multitude of Unfunded TIGER Grant Applications Points to Need for Continued Funding

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to invest in road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. Now in its fourth round, the program remains critically underfunded. DOT received 703 applications, totaling $10.2 billion in requests. Out of those, 47 projects were selected to receive a total of close to $500 million.

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Partnership in the News: Massachusetts to Study Old Railbed with Help of EPA Grant

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council selected Newton and Needham, Massachusetts as one of five communities to receive an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant. The free technical assistance will be used to study options for a defunct railbed that connects the two communities, reports the Needham Patch. The funding for this project comes from the EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program.

“We are excited to lend our expertise to a wide range of communities,” Andre Leroux, executive director of the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, said in the press release. “This opportunity advances the Alliance’s goal to help communities here in Greater Boston enhance their quality of life, economic strength, and affordability.”


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Partnership in the News: Somerville Residents Planning for Future

Three years of work have paid off, with the release of Somerville, Massachusett’s first 20-year comprehensive plan, reports the Somerville Journal.

“This is an extraordinary achievement made possible by the hard work of hundreds of community-minded contributors both inside and outside government,” said Mayor Joe Curtatone at the event. “Because it is based on so much public input and review, it truly represents a consensus view of our values and priorities as a community.”


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