City of Somerville, Massachusetts, Somerville, MA
From industrial zone to urban village: a plan for neighborhood transformation
Representing a transformative new chapter for the City of Somerville, the Inner Belt and Brickbottom plan serves as a strategic guide for developing this 150-acre area—one of two significant concentrations of redevelopable land close to Boston—into a lively, urban neighborhood. The Inner Belt and Brickbottom districts began as tidal marshes, evolved to support rail yards and heavy industry, and are now underutilized light industrial areas. By 2016 they will be served by MBTA Green Line light rail service, with a direct transit link to the heart of Boston.
Working closely with city leadership, residents, and local business and property owners, Goody Clancy’s interdisciplinary team developed a plan that incorporates:
- Evolution of the Inner Belt/Brickbottom area into a vibrant city neighborhood—a walkable transit-served district of businesses, multifamily housing, and community park spaces
- Economic positioning that identifies opportunities for development of office and research space, core elements of the city’s economic development strategy
- Improved access to and through the area, now constrained by crisscrossing rail and elevated highway infrastructure
- Framework for 6 to 10 million SF of new development created through practical, incremental steps that will result in a distinctive new sense of place for the district