On Wednesday, February 12th Mayor Carlo DeMaria and the City of Everett held a successful open forum to discuss the Lower Broadway Master Vision, the establishment of a Redevelopment Authority, and the concept of an Urban Renewal Plan.
Mayor DeMaria and over 40 residents came together in an effort to stimulate community dialogue regarding possible redevelopment and urban renewal in the Lower Broadway area. The Mayor was joined by James Errickson, Director of Planning and Development, as well as consultants from BSC Group, all who presented facts and information on the concept of urban renewal and what it would mean for both the Lower Broadway neighborhood and the City as a whole.
The Mayor explained to residents that an active Redevelopment Authority and a well thought out urban renewal plan will greatly assist the City in moving forward with its desire for higher standards of redevelopment. He referred to the idea that the City can re-invigorate the Lower Broadway neighborhood into a district that re-engages with the Mystic River waterfront, has public parks and open space that is designed for and is located near residents, and can accommodate, but also lessen, the impact from industrial uses and traffic flowing through the neighborhood.
In addition, the Mayor clarified that modern-day urban renewal is very different from mid-century urban renewal. The goal of modern day urban renewal is to establish a shared vision for a particular neighborhood in need of targeted investment. This vision, ultimately voted on and approved by the City Council, is one that would likely not be realized under private market conditions alone. Therefore, thoughtful, targeted site assemblage and infrastructure improvements are potentially needed in order to make the vision a reality.
Residents were then encouraged by the Mayor to take part in a candid conversation, in which they could ask questions and express their thoughts, ideas, and impressions. The reactions to the proposed redevelopment and urban renewal plan expressed at the forum were very positive, indicating residents’ support of the process. The Mayor was grateful for the participation, recognizing that the most important aspect of these visioning meetings is the participation of all residents and community groups.