SCC’s Land Use Committee is a space for community members to organize around land use issues.Our goal is to help demystify development processes and make planning more accessible so that everyone can participate, especially newer immigrants, working class families, and communities of color. We promote a model in which the starting point of good development is centered on grassroots efforts, community values, and meaningful decision-making.
Star Market Campaign: In January 2012, Winter Hill and East Somerville residents came together to help determine an end use for the vacant Star Market site at 299 Broadway that will benefit the community. We identified neighborhood challenges and assets, engaged city planners to share our vision as part of the Gilman Square station area planning process, and researched alternative models of equitable local economic development that can stabilize our community. Check out some of our work here.
Land Use and Food Access: In the summer of 2013, SCC in partnership with the Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Department launched the Land Use & Food Access Project to take a critical look at food economies in Somerville. We engaged over 150 people (with a specific eye and ear toward new immigrants, youth, working class people, and the elderly) in workshops, surveys, and mapping exercises. By addressing land use in a food access context, we explored how communities can use public, private, and underutilized spaces to gain access to healthier and affordable food options in their neighborhoods.
Union Square Redevelopment: The Somerville Redevelopment Authority recently selected US2 as the master developer to transform 12 key acres of Union Square over the next twenty years. SCC committees and community partners are working hard to ensure that this project benefits our community. In April 2014, SCC’s Land Use Committee and Link Somerville – grassroots groups working on planning initiatives in Somerville – hosted a popular education workshop to discuss the Union Square redevelopment project. We discussed who all the players are, helped determine community values and priorities, and made planning language more accessible so that everyone can participate in this important process.
For more information and to get involved, contact Mashael Majid, (617) 776-5931 x 228
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