City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge, MA
Sparking a new era for Central Square: A plan for Cambridge’s diverse downtown
An eclectic neighborhood known for its arts and entertainment venues, its small shops and ethnic restaurants, and its proximity to both Harvard and MIT, Central Square is the civic heart and unofficial downtown of Cambridge, Massachusetts. A new pocket park and outdoor dining added to the liveliness of already bustling streets, but housing costs continued to rise, threatening the neighborhood’s economic diversity, while the number of vacant storefronts was growing. Goody Clancy worked closely with the city to develop a practical plan for keeping Central Square “edgy” while attracting new investment and improving quality of life.
Emerging from extensive outreach to residents and business owners and guidance from city leadership and an active advisory committee, the Central Square Plan:
- Values preservation of Central Square as a place of great diversity—a neighborhood that draws people of all incomes, ages, races, and ethnicities
- Emphasizes creation of new indoor and outdoor public spaces, improvements to existing public spaces, and installation of “pop-up” public spaces on underutilized sidewalk areas
- Identifies sites and strategies for adding housing at a range of income levels and for bolstering Central Square’s rich mix of retail and entertainment venues
- Is supported by strong sustainability guidelines that address buildings, infrastructure, and transportation