This article provides a nice analysis of the end of the traditional shopping mall and the urban answer to using the space "sustainably" and effectively. Check it out, and be sure let your town councilors know this is the kind of vision we need for our town: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/08/weve-entered-age-anti-mall/6663/
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS FOR THE FUTURE OF WATERTOWN.
What is your vision for the Town’s future?
What do you enjoy most about Watertown?
What are the Town’s biggest challenges?
What can be done to enhance the Charles River waterfront?
What are the key land use issues along Arsenal, Mt. Auburn, Galen, Main and Pleasant streets?
What should be the focus for Watertown Square and Coolidge Square?
In a recent letter to The Boston Globe, Watertown Community Development and Planning Director, Steve Magoon pointed out that, "Watertown offers many of the benefits due to our proximity to both Cambridge and Boston, but with a much more reasonable rate for office space." We at Sustainable Watertown agree. Read More at Boston.com >>
Dear Sustainable Watertowners,
Thanks to all who attended the town council meeting for the vote on the Strategic Framework for Economic Development. Resident Michael Fein read a beautifully worded statement on behalf of Sustainable Watertown in support of the Framework , and presented the idea that planning based on this Framework should prevent the likes of Walmart from planting stores here, and allow us to attract more suitable and acceptable development in our town.
The Framework was passed in its original spirit with minor wording adjustments. The good news is that now we at least (and at last!) have a written vision on which to base development plans for the future, and haphazard development will hopefully become a thing of the past. Our presence made it clear that residents care and are watching. A representative of Cresset--the company that owns the land on which Walmart wants to build--was also in the audience last night, our presence certainly sent a message to them as well.
The not so good news is that the reason behind the only "no" vote on the council was that the Framework doesn't offer strong enough protections for neighborhoods -- which is precisely why we need to keep the pressure on to provide those protections in the next phase: The Comprehensive Economic Development Plan for Watertown, that will be based on the recommendations of this framework. The hard work has only just begun. We must now focus on making sure there is community input during the amendments to zoning process, and that the new Comprehensive Plan has clearly stated provisions for community input early on and throughout the vetting of any proposed new development. We will keep you posted on any upcoming actions.
Our website will go live soon, and we'll notify you as soon as it is up and running. There will be lots of information there about our initiatives to make Watertown more sustainable for the future.
Rena Baskin on behalf of