Life isn’t easy for folks who spend their days promoting smart growth, regional collaboration, equity, and a robust approach to climate change. But then again, the leaders and staff at MAPC are not given to easy tasks. We love the unique and historical region we call Metro Boston, and we are committed to all the people who call it home—men and women, young and old, rich and poor, residents of all sexual orientations and gender identities, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds, people with disabilities, and all people who have recently arrived from near and far.
In 2016, MAPC continued to transform the planning field with exciting new practices—integrating arts and culture into land use projects, weaving web-based tools into local decision-making, expanding our public safety work to help address the opioid crisis, baking public health into municipal planning, and exploring the impact of automated vehicles on the region’s mobility. Whether it’s making the region safer, ensuring equitable access to opportunity, or planning for the effects of climate change, MAPC will continue to make sure that leaders and stakeholders have the facts and strategies they need to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives and works here.
Uncertain political times lay ahead, but MAPC remains steadfastly committed to our core values of equity and inclusion. We will work with anyone who wishes to advance the goals contained in MetroFuture—sustainable development, preservation of our environment, a stronger and fairer economy, and a better life for everyone. We will oppose all efforts to roll back the gains we have made, and we will resist every effort to turn the residents of our region against one another, or to close the doors of our region to newcomers who can make our future even stronger. Depending on the path chosen by the federal government, the responsibility may fall to local and state leaders to demonstrate that fairness and inclusion can generate the strongest economy and the brightest future for America. We know our region’s leaders will accept that challenge, and MAPC will work with them to craft the plans and policies to make that happen. No one is going to let Massachusetts go backwards.
We are honored to continue making Metro Boston a national model in smart growth planning, public policy, and civic engagement. Join us online at the all new mapc.org and on Twitter @MAPCMetroBoston to get more involved!
With a visionary regional plan, MetroFuture, and a strong set of strategic priorities to guide us, MAPC proudly provides cost-effective, collaborative services to cities and towns throughout our region while following and modeling new innovations nationally. One of the most rapidly-evolving technologies in transportation—autonomous vehicles—is sure to have a significant impact on life in our area, potentially changing the way we get around and how we plan for future transportation needs. MAPC is following the evolution of driverless car technology closely, particularly as it is likely to be adopted first by ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, which are themselves subject to new regulations under state law. As the technology is adopted, we hope ride-sharing companies will make good on promises to report anonymized trip-level data, which would allow planners at MAPC and elsewhere to better model future travel behavior and prioritize investments.
We held a very well-attended forum on driverless cars this year at MIT, and plan to follow up with more educational and policy-oriented opportunities in 2017 so our cities and towns can adapt and plan for this new frontier.
Additionally, our transportation team has done groundbreaking work in the realm of value capture in 2016. Value capture allows property taxes on new growth in a set area around a transportation investment to pay off the bonds on the project, and is being used for the first time in our region on the Green Line Extension through Somerville. In Massachusetts, value capture tools—which include special assessments and taxes, tax increment financing, various forms of developer contributions, and joint development or other public sector real estate transactions—are being considered as one potential source that can be tapped to provide much-needed funding for a variety of state and local transportation projects. We commissioned a special report this year to evaluate Massachusetts’s existing value capture tools and to identify opportunities for expanding its use to pay for transit, transit-oriented development (TOD) and other transportation infrastructure. We are also planning a series of information sessions in 2017 to help state and local leaders understand how value capture can benefit areas across Greater Boston; stay tuned at mapc.org for more information on a training or info session near you.
MAPC’s regional greenway program, LandLine, continues to grow as we partner with communities and organizations throughout the region to identify potential gaps in the network. Each month new corridors are identified, and our transportation staff works continuously with a constellation of local planners and state partners to identify and open new trails to public access—including the ever-growing aqueduct trail system across MetroWest, which will eventually cover 68 miles atop MWRA aqueducts, and the Mass Central Rail Trail (or Wayside Trail) in Wayland and Weston, which has been a collaborative effort among those two towns and the energy utility Eversource. For more information about LandLine, which will soon have a newly revamped, interactive web home, visit mapc.org/landline.
MAPC continues to develop new bicycle and pedestrian plans in our communities, and to do local follow-up to ensure our recommendations are considered and implemented. In 2016, we worked with Middleton to create a bicycle and pedestrian network plan, and with Beverly to see through some bike lane recommendations from our two-year-old bike network plan with the city. In line with this work, we continue to place special emphasis on assisting cities and towns in adopting and implementing Complete Streets and right-sized parking.
Parking is a hotly-debated issue across our region, but until recently there has been very little hard data on how much parking our region has—and how much we need. MAPC’s new “Perfect Fit Parking” initiatives aims to foster a better understanding of parking supply and demand among multi-family residential developments. Using an on-the-ground, middle-of-the-night counting strategy, our staff assessed 80 developments in five municipalities (Arlington, Chelsea, Everett, Malden and Melrose), finding that one quarter of the available spaces were empty overnight, representing a tremendous waste of space and money. Compounding this oversupply, trends show that demand for parking is falling across the region but especially in Boston and the immediately surrounding Inner Core communities. More households are forgoing vehicle ownership, or choose only to own one car per family, preferring walking, biking and public transit to driving. We will be expanding this Perfect Fit Parking work to more communities soon, and have already begun to survey Cambridge. To learn more about the project and how communities can better plan parking requirements in alignment with actual demand, visit perfectfitparking.mapc.org.
MAPC surveyed 80 residential buildings across five municipalities. The average building had 58 parking spaces. See typical parking lot to the left.
43 Occupied Spaces. 15 Unused Spaces.
Only 74% of spaces occupied.
In Spring 2016, Ashland, Framingham, Longmeadow, Lynn, Natick, Norwell and Weymouth were ranked by Smart Growth America as among the top “Complete Streets” policies in the nation. Complete Streets are roadways that are safe, accessible and comfortable for all users, regardless of age, physical ability, income, or how they choose to travel: by transit, on foot, by bike or public transit. Complete Streets increase safety, promote economic development, and enhance public safety; MAPC provides technical assistance to communities looking to develop and implement Complete Streets policies. Working with MassDOT, which offers a special funding incentive program to cities and towns that adopt Complete Streets policies, we have helped many municipalities to write Complete Streets policies and bicycle and pedestrian network plans. As of mid-2016, 70 cities and towns registered for the MassDOT Complete Streets program, with 44% of those cities and towns serving populations at or below the median household income.
Marc Draisen MAPC Executive Director
We also are growing and building on past successes in the arena of Master Planning, which was a priority area for us while developing our strategic vision for the next few years. In 2016, we worked with Manchester-by-the-Sea, Medford Square, Natick Center, Swampscott, Hanover, Boxborough and Melrose to complete master plans for entire municipalities or specific areas, such as a downtown. We have also completed Housing Production Plans for Quincy, Rockland, and Woburn, and crafted Open Space and Recreation Plans for Lynn, Littleton, Saugus and Hanover, and are just beginning two others in Malden and in Stoneham.
We’ve also seen the results of our work, in particular developing new zoning for cities and towns, in on-the-ground economic development, housing and retail. In October 2015, the Town of Framingham voted to support zoning changes to the downtown area designed to make it more attractive and vibrant; previous zoning laws had posed a barrier to appealing new development, and MAPC helped the town to rezone this critical district to encourage transit-oriented residential development attractive to young professionals who commute by train. Now, this development is starting to take place, spurring an economic revitalization that will be key to Framingham retaining businesses and residents. Additionally, in Marlborough, we helped to develop new zoning that allows for mixed use by right, expanded the allowed commercial uses, eliminated first-floor parking requirements for first floor commercial uses, and significantly reduced parking requirements for residential uses in the downtown. Two new developments were just recently approved as a result of this zoning work in late 2016 in Marlborough, and we are excited to our work have real revitalizing effects on the ground already.
This year, we are proud to unveil an innovative new work area integrating arts into planning. At the turn of the New Year, we are poised to add an artist in residence to our staff as well as a regional planner focused on the arts, and have created an all-new division in our Land Use shop that will focus on creative place-making, arts focused civic engagement opportunities, and planning for bringing public art into economic development plans and projects. We’ve taken the first steps toward building this practice with three projects in 2016—the Albion Arts Corridor Economic Development Plan, which utilizes arts and culture to drive activity and economic development in Downtown Wakefield; the Upham's Corner cultural planning project, which will work in tandem with the "Boston Creates" initiative to examine arts in cultural assets in that neighborhood; and the Arlington Arts and Culture action plan, which MAPC is helping the town to develop in order to identify and strengthen arts and culture opportunities in Arlington. In Wakefield, participants also offered planners feedback on new development and arts-related activity proposals for the downtown, and submitted ideas to help make Wakefield an arts and culture destination.
Learn more about this new area of work online at our arts and planning toolkit, artsandplanning.org. The toolkit, which was recently awarded a special recognition by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association (MA-APA), presents urban planners with proven strategies for engaging arts, culture and the creative community in ways that advance smart growth and livability goals.
Our Municipal Collaboration and Public Health teams partnered this year to find new ways of helping schools to access healthy and local food. One way we do that is by collaboratively procuring specialized products that are drawn from local sources. At the request of local districts, the first such procurement was for mushroom beef burgers. The request was for antibiotic-free and hormone-free beef patties, frozen and delivered to all locations designated by participating school districts, which included Cambridge, Somerville, Watertown, Waltham and Quincy. We are also making it easier for school districts to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. On behalf of 10 school districts, we are helping to streamline purchasing and source more local produce from farms across New England; these efforts support the health and academic performance of nearly 50,000 students enrolled in participating schools, including 12,000 children who qualify for free meals, and boost the region’s food economy while encouraging sustainable practices throughout the supply chain.
The Public Health team also worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to present estimates of walking and bicycling activity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The work is developing a new method, with state and national applicability, for evaluating how changes to the built environment and new programs affect changes in walking and biking behavior.
We have also been assisting Lynn in coordinating its Prevention and Wellness Trust fund project, which focuses on tobacco cessation, reducing senior falls, and addressing pediatric asthma, among other interventions. Our staff has been on site in Lynn several days a week directly supporting the city’s local public health team and working with partner organizations in the city.
In late 2016, MAPC’s Public Health Department, along with WalkBoston and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, were awarded a contract by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to develop a Vision Zero Strategic Plan for the state. The “vision zero” notion comes from Sweden and combines a public health approach with transportation safety planning, with the goal of eliminating of traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries. MAPC and partners will develop the strategic plan by June 30, 2017 and hope to have several years of additional support from MDPH in order to implement the plan.
Climate change has remained a critical area of focus for our cities and towns, and is likely to garner even more concern locally with uncertainty looming around personnel, policy and practice at the federal level. This year, we continued to place emphasis on helping cities and towns both inland and coastal to anticipate the effects of a changing climate, always with a data-backed and community-driven approach and an eye toward planning for the most vulnerable populations first. We completed a draft action plan for the Quincy Coastal Resilience Project in late 2016 and have begun working with local climate working groups in Braintree, Newton, and the MAGIC subregion. Read more at mapc.org/environment.
An infusion of funding and an unwavering commitment to innovation has spurred our energy team into emerging areas of practice this year, such as a groundbreaking new statewide contract to allow municipalities to purchase electric vehicle supplies, anti-idling technology and after-market conversion tools, all of which will reduce the negative impacts on air quality of most municipal fleets. Two workshops around the region have informed local departments of public works about the program to purchase green vehicle technology, including information on financing tools and conversations with the actual vendors on the state contract.
MAPC has also been integrally involved in the implementation of the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act and its greenhouse gas emissions targets. Our staff advised state officials on the likely direction of these regulations and identified which sectors should be targeted for greatest impact; overall, we support establishing declining caps on emissions from the transportation sector and the natural gas distribution system. Our comments related to the natural gas system focused largely on so-called "super emitter leaks," and we called for improving coordination between natural gas companies and municipalities when it comes to repairing gas leaks and timing that in line with anticipated roadway repairs and repaving. To that end, our Clean Energy and Data Services teams collaborated on a web tool, FixOurPipes.org, which is an interactive report that shows the severity of the gas leak problem in Massachusetts, and suggests best practices for municipalities and utilities to coordinate on fixing them. We hosted workshops around the region in 2016 to bring together gas companies and cities and towns, to help them work together around replacing leak-prone gas mains when paving and municipal infrastructure projects are taking place.
Additionally, MAPC staff is working on a green infrastructure partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the 14 municipalities of the Metro Mayors Coalition; its goal is to launch a region-scale, web-based GIS tool to help communities identify optimal locations for green infrastructure. Medford and Melrose will be the first communities to work with MAPC under the project, beginning this year.
In late 2016, MAPC Clean Energy staff submitted applications on behalf of Bolton, Malden, Marshfield and Medfield for Green Communities designation by the state. MAPC developed municipal energy reduction plans for each community, identifying baseline energy use and pinpointing projects and measures for reducing energy consumption locally over the next five years. Bolton, Malden and Medfield also received fuel-efficient vehicle policies drafted by MAPC; all four communities will be eligible for significant grant funding if designated as Green Communities, with the money intended to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that can be completed with help from MAPC.
Throughout the year, MAPC recruited municipalities to its Community Electricity Aggregation project; as of December, Arlington, Brookline, Gloucester, Hamilton, Somerville, Stoneham, Sudbury and Winchester are expected to begin their programs in early 2017, joining this year's participant, Melrose, which signed two electricity supply contracts containing renewable energy credits that will help build new renewable generating facilities such as wind turbines in the New England region.
In November, more than a dozen urban core mayors and state and federal partners gathered in Boston for the second Metro Mayors Coalition Climate Summit, coordinated by staff from MAPC's Clean Energy and Government Affairs teams. All 14 municipalities in the coalition signed a climate commitment, agreeing to aim for making a series of steps toward reducing overall emissions in the region, and all agreed on a strategy to protect the area's most critical infrastructure by working collaboratively. The Metro Mayors Climate Mitigation Commitment was inspired by last year's Paris Climate Accord, signed by more than 190 countries, and pledges that these communities will reach "net zero" as a region by the year 2050. Because cities contribute higher rates of emissions and also remain home to some of the most vulnerable areas and residents, and given the national climate, it's now more important than ever for urban mayors to work together to mitigate the effects of climate change and to publicly demonstrate their commitment to doing so—and MAPC is proud to be a leader and a convener in this regard.
To learn more about all our energy work, visit
In the arena of housing, many of our planners across Smart Growth and Data Services are working to ensure the needs of our current and future residents are met so the region can continue to thrive. Metro Boston has one of the most innovative and competitive economies in the country; however, to keep that economy growing over the next 15 years, our region will need at least 717,000 new workers just to fill positions left vacant by retirees—and even more to staff new jobs that will be created. MAPC estimates those new entrants to the workforce will form nearly 500,000 new households by 2030, all of them in need of a place to live. If we continue to add low-wage jobs at the current rate, about a third of all new working households will be considered low income 15 years from now, and a quarter will be middle income, making between $60k and $120k per year, while nearly half will be high income. While many single-family homes will be freed up by downsizing Baby Boomers, that can only meet 60% of the housing demand—meaning all communities must encourage a diversity of housing being created, especially rental, multi-family, and affordable unit to accommodate our future workforce. Research we conducted with the Urban Land Institute this year shows that Metro Boston will need an additional 200,000 units of workforce housing by 2030, especially in Inner Core communities that have been losing middle-income working households at a faster rate than the rest of the region. To learn more about the region’s housing needs and how our staff is collaborating to address them, visit
While housing trends show a need for a more diverse stock of home types, mobility projections show similarly interesting changes and trends in how people get around. We are tracking changes in vehicle ownership and driving patterns at vehiclecensus.mapc.org, a new site that catalogs information about nearly every vehicle registered in Massachusetts from 2009 to 2014 while protecting personally identifiable information. In the MAPC region, hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles are more prevalent than the rest of Massachusetts, and are growing rapidly—more than doubling over the five year period from 2009 to 2014 to more than 89,000 statewide. The number of fully electric vehicles, while smaller, has grown dramatically from just 23 in late 2009 to nearly 1,500 at the end of 2014. In our forthcoming Transportation Indicators report with Northeastern’s Dukakis Center, “Staying on Track,” we learned that Greater Boston’s residents increasingly prefer walking, biking and public transit over driving for getting around the region. The report measures changes in how people use the entire transportation system, and lays out goals for investment the state should make to keep up with these changing preferences. These indicators show automobile dependence dropping in urban areas especially, as more development comes to the areas surrounding our public transit stations, though deferred maintenance and poor on-time performance by the MBTA has likely kept more residents from making the leap from car to train. Similarly, investment in biking and walking infrastructure has been slow in our region, despite data showing more people are commuting on foot and bicycle. To dig deeper into these findings, visit regionalindicators.org.
In September, our Data Services staff launched the new "Local Access Score" web tool at MassDOT'S Moving Together conference. This new data resource provides a measure of how useful a street is for connecting residents with schools, shops, restaurants, parks and transit, assigning different roadways a utility score. Already these scores have been used to help cities and towns set priorities within their Complete streets improvement plans, and will inform MassDOT's statewide bicycle and pedestrian planning. Visit localaccess.mapc.org to learn more and use the tool!
Throughout this past year, our Digital Services team worked with the City of Boston to redesign and automate the city’s youth jobs program for faster matching of applicants and positions. The process, which used to take place by phone over several months each year, now features an algorithm that allows youth to submit topical areas of interest and matches them to jobs within a reasonable commute time. We hope this will ensure that more teens who want to work can indeed find jobs that meet their criteria, opening up doors of opportunity for youth across the city. See more at livingcities.org.
Our staff also launched two new tools this year—KnowPlace and KeepCool. KnowPlace makes neighborhood-level data aggregation easy by allowing users to draw their own neighborhood boundaries to create custom reports on demographics, housing, transportation, and more. Visit knowplace.us to check it out! This summer, we developed the Keep Cool app, a pilot initiative of the Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Taskforce. Covering the 14 communities of the Metro Mayors Coalition, Keep Cool provided residents with an online resource to locate nearby places for keeping cool this past summer. Cooling spaces included water parks, pools, libraries, and beaches. This app also aimed to offer heat safety tips and information on emergency cooling centers during extreme heat events, and increase awareness on the effects of climate change. The app will be available each summer and aims to prevent heat-related fatalities and illnesses, foster tighter intergenerational social networks, and develop data-driven information to identify high-risk zones to help target cooling interventions. Keep Cool is mobile-optimized, so visit keepcool.mapc.org on your smartphone today!
In October, Data Services collaborated with our Municipal Governance Team as well as Government Affairs and Communications to host a conference on municipal information technology. The conference, "Making I.T. Work," was attended by more than 250 town managers, municipal I.T. directors, and mayors for discussions on modernizing local government through data and modernized I.T. practices. More than 190 municipalities were represented at the half-day conference, where Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and State Senator Karen Spilka offered keynote remarks and kicked off a day of learning around regionalizing I.T. services, recruitment and retention for public sector I.T. staff, open data laws and public records, funding opportunities and procurement.
Staff from Clean Energy and Government Affairs also coordinated a very successful boat tour of Boston Harbor this fall, bringing together mayors and managers, local staff, state officials, and academic experts to see first-hand some of the challenges that rising seas and more damaging storms could bring to the properties surrounding Boston Harbor. We visited the Food Distribution Centers in Chelsea and Everett, the Amelia Earhart Dam, and the Schrafft’s site in Boston. In each case, speakers described vulnerabilities and discussed possible ways to address them.
Our legislative affairs team worked hard this year across all the agency’s policy goals, few more fervently than the drive to revamp Massachusetts’s outdated zoning laws. While not ultimately successful in passing both branches, the legislation moved further along than it ever has before, leaving us hopeful we can make headway in the very near future and give cities and towns the tools they need around modernized zoning and managing growth effectively. When the legislative session ended in the wee hours of July 31, several of our other legislative priorities were included in major bills that passed this session.
The final version of the Municipal Modernization bill included both our Parking Benefits Districts bill and our Regionalization bill. The bill also includes two provisions that will allow cities and towns to lower speed limits. The final version of the Economic Development bill has many provisions, one of which allows for the creation of a new starter home zoning overlay under 40R. Energy legislation passed at the end of the session requires that utilities solicit contracts for 1600 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2017, which represents the largest procurement of offshore wind in the US. It also requires the procurement of hydropower and requires that preference is given to proposals that include both hydroelectric generation and other Class 1 renewables,
a provision that we supported. The legislation also includes Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE),which will make clean energy upgrades more accessible to home and building owners by removing the barrier of high up-front costs. It addresses gas leaks by requiring the Department of Public Utilities to identify and repair environmentally significant leaks. The legislation includes language that will allow utilities to receive a remuneration of 2.75% of the annual value of the long term contracts for offshore wind and hydro. Legislation regulating Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) sets up a new division in the Department of Public Utilities to regulate services like Uber and Lyft. It requires that drivers undergo a CORI checks and other background checks. The legislation creates a new fee charging TNCs 20 cents per ride, 10 cents of which will go back to the municipality where the trip originated, 5 cents of which goes to MassDOT, and 5 cents of which goes to MassDevelopment.
We were pleased to have so many important legislative victories this session and we are working on disseminating this information to our cities and towns. The Legislative Session will start at the beginning of January, and we look forward to a productive and exciting year ahead.
The state’s Executive Office of Public Safety will continue engaging MAPC as fiduciary agent for the Homeland Security Program in Massachusetts, giving us oversight of the state’s central, northeast, southeast and western Homeland Security regions. We provide management, administrative, and planning support to these four regions and their local advisory councils. We also work with our counterpart regional planning agencies (or RPAs) in those areas, including the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. We look forward to continuing our work with EOPSS and the Homeland Security Regions to enhance emergency preparedness capabilities at the state, regional, and local levels.
As part of MAPC’s Federal Fiscal 2014 Statewide Fiduciary contract, performance metrics were developed and implemented to track the timeliness of our procurements and payments to vendors on behalf of the Homeland Security Councils. MAPC developed a program to capture procurement and payment data related to this effort, which showed that MAPC conducted 178 procurements for the Homeland Security Councils over the course of approximately 20 months, with 98% of these procurements being completed within the expected timeframe. Of the 151 payments that were made to vendors for these projects, 97% were made within the expected timeframe.
Through a competitive grant received jointly by the Northeast and Southeast Homeland Security Regions, MAPC will be leading the process to develop, facilitate, and evaluate a full-scale structural collapse rescue exercise in fall of 2017. The exercise will involve specialized technical rescue teams from all five Homeland Security Regions across the Commonwealth working together with the Massachusetts National Guard to rescue and provide medical care to victims trapped in a simulated building collapse scenario. The event will last 72 hours, and involve approximately 350 civilian first responders and 200 members of the National Guard. MAPC kicked off the planning process for the exercise this month in late 2016.
Our municipal collaboration team also works to secure cost savings for public works, police, and fire departments across Eastern Massachusetts through our collective purchasing program. In Fiscal 2016, the team boasted total sales of $23.3 million or 517 police and DPW vehicles, and $11.9 million or 240 vehicles sold in Fiscal 2017; on the fire apparatus and ambulance side of the program, Fiscal 2016 vehicle sales totaled $28.8 million or 73 pieces of equipment, and Fiscal 2017 sales totaled $13.2 million, or 35 pieces of fire and ambulance equipment.
Last year, with funding from the MetroWest Health Foundation, MAPC worked with police departments in Framingham, Holliston, Marlborough, Natick, and Southborough to equip officers with naloxone doses and to facilitate relationships between police and local pharmacies or medical supply companies to purchase naloxone doses. Early in 2016, began helping first responders and their medical and social service partners in MetroWest develop an effective regional response to the opioid crisis. We are proud to be continuing this work.
Our team also worked with Revere, Chelsea, and Winthrop this year to sign an inter-municipal agreement to create a new regional entity, the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative. In creating the Collaborative, the communities have committed to work together to develop and implement regional strategies that address local chronic health illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, mental health problems, and substance abuse. This effort, funded with District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) funds over a period of several years, will help community leaders to develop a cost-effective model for enhancing public health programs and services by conducting joint health assessments, establishing more consistent programs for residents to access across the three communities, and by coordinating municipal public health efforts with other programs currently being provided by area stakeholders.
We continue to work with law enforcement and prevention partners in Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop to manage the Shannon Community Safety Initiative, a grant program designed to address youth and gang violence in six Metro Mayors Coalition communities. We are honored to continue facilitating this program in tandem with our community partners and believe it has a very real impact on at-risk youth and crime prevention.
As changes the world of planning, so too does our Community Engagement team, which has grown and evolved focus this year to both provide more trainings to partner organizations and stakeholders, and to stay abreast of the latest methods in popular education, to better organize our own civic engagement strategy and more effectively design and facilitate meetings. In addition, with support from the Barr Foundation, we are beginning this year to contemplate the next iteration of our regional plan, MetroFuture. Most likely the eight-year-old plan will undergo a thorough update rather than a total rewrite, and staff have already begun researching key areas for improvement and interviewing other regional planning agencies across the country to learn from their work.
Finally, in an effort toward transparency and efficiency, this year we have combined several of our project funding opportunities into one Technical Assistance Program, which we are abbreviating "TAP." We've rebranded our call for applications and streamlined multiple submittal processes, and will accept proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year. Revamping this process will, we hope, encourage greater participation by municipalities and enable us to creatively formulate the best funding packages we can from varying sources—in turn bringing more expertise and planning work to more places. For more information, you can contact our new Manager of Technical Assistance, Jennifer Erickson, at email@example.com.
To see all the projects we are currently doing in your community, as well as a summary of key accomplishments from the past, don't forget to visit projects.metrofuture.org!
Inner Core Committee
The ICC consists of representatives from twenty-one of the metropolitan area’s innermost communities: Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton,* Needham, Newton, Quincy, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Waltham, Watertown and Winthrop. The Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council are also voting members of the Committee.
MetroWest Regional Collaborative
The MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) serves the MetroWest region of Eastern Cochituate Aqueducts, Natick, Mass.Massachusetts, from I-95 to I-495 along the Route 9 corridor. MWRC serves as a think tank and advocate for locally initiated regional solutions to policy and planning challenges shared by MetroWest communities.
Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination
Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC) is a group of thirteen communities northwest of Boston working collaboratively on issues of regional concern. Established as a growth management committee in 1984, it has become a respected voice in regional decision-making. MAGIC consists of representatives from the following thirteen communities: Acton, Bedford, Bolton, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, and Sudbury.
North Shore Task Force
The North Shore Task Force (NSTF) is a group of 16 communities north of Boston working collaboratively on regional issues. The goal of NSTF is to cooperate with, and to assist, each member municipality in coordinating its planning and economic development so as to obtain maximum benefits for the North Shore district.NSTF communities include Beverly,Danvers,Essex, Gloucester, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Middleton, Nahant, Peabody, Rockport, Salem, Swampscott, Topsfield, and Wenham.
North Suburban Planning Council
The North Suburban Planning Council (NSPC) is composed of eight towns and one city that have formed a voluntary association to facilitate cooperative regional planning. NSPC membership includes town managers and administrators, planning staff, and members of Planning Boards and Boards of Selectmen from the following nine communities: Burlington, Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Winchester, and Woburn.
South Shore Coalition
The South Shore Coalition subregion comprises 13 towns on the South Shore within the metropolitan Boston area. The towns are Braintree, Cohasset, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Holbrook, Hull, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Rockland, Scituate and Weymouth. The South Shore Coalition (SCC) consists of member positions, one for each of the 13 municipalities.
SouthWest Advisory Planning Committee
The SouthWest Advisory Planning Committee (SWAP) is comprised of up to twenty members representing ten communities southwest of Boston. The purpose of SWAP is to foster joint and cooperative action concerning transportation, land use, economic development, housing, historic preservation, water resources and the environment. Informed and active cooperation among neighboring communities helps to serve the needs of residents, businesses, commuters and local governments. SWAP's membership consists of the following towns: Bellingham, Dover, Franklin, Hopkinton, Medway, Milford, Millis, Norfolk, Sherborn and Wrentham.
Three Rivers Interlocal Council
The Three Rivers Interlocal Council is composed of thirteen communities south of Boston: Canton, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough, Medfield, Milton, Needham, Norwood, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole and Westwood. Three Rivers takes its name from the three major rivers in the sub-region: the Neponset, Charles, and Canoe Rivers.
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