Goody Clancy plans recognized by the New England Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism

On Thursday April 10, the New England Chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism presented Urbanism Awards to two recent Goody Clancy plans. The Inner Belt Brickbottom Plan, developed with the City of Somerville, received the Award of Excellence, while the Hill-to-Downtown Community Plan, developed with the City of New Haven, received honorable mention in the same category. Both projects demonstrate how the principles of the Congress for the New Urbanism are increasingly being used in complex urban districts to create sustainable and vibrant live-work-play environments.

The Inner Belt Brickbottom Plan, led by Ben Carlson, LEED AP, Director of Urban Design, lays out a transformative new chapter  for this 150-acre industrial area. With new MBTA Green Line service coming to the area in 2017, there is immense opportunity for this underdeveloped area to become a transit-oriented hub. At the same time, the existing landscape poses significant challenges, including cris-crossing railroad tracks and elevated highways, lack of identity, and dispersed land ownership. The plan proposes an economic positioning strategy identifying office and research development opportunities that complement established business clusters in adjacent Cambridge and Boston. Unique character areas are established within the district that offer varied scale and urban fabric, all of which include human-scale, mixed-use development that will draw both employers and residents to breathe life into the area.

New Haven’s new Hill-to-Downtown Community Plan, accepted and moved to committee by the Board of Aldermen in December 2013, addresses the future of an urban neighborhood directly adjacent to the city’s historic Union Station. This transit-oriented development plan, led by David Spillane, AICP, RIBA, Principal, and Mitch Glass, ASLA, Senior Urban Designer, unlocks the potential of this transit served location as a walkable, mixed-use medical, research, residential, and retail district between downtown New Haven and the Hill neighborhood. The plan establishes connections between Downtown, the Hill, and the Medical District; promotes redevelopment of the 300-unit Church Street South section 8 housing complex as a 750-unit mixed-income, mixed-use community; links Union Station to the district and downtown through creation of a gateway public space and amenity; and revises zoning to facilitate a more comfortable height transition between higher density research and residential areas and the modest scale of surrounding neighborhoods.