Open Space Creation Task Force

View/Download the Strategy Memo

The memo is being discussed in the next Housing and Community Development Committee Meeting on Wednesday, September 4, at 6:00 pm, at the City Hall Council Chambers, more information here.

Somerville is home to world-class, award winning open spaces from the new Lincoln Park to historic Nathan Tufts Park. These parks, playgrounds, plazas, gardens, and fields provide opportunities for Somerville’s residents to play, relax, socialize, grow food, and commune with nature. They provide a wealth of benefits not only to Somerville’s residents but also to the urban environment as they provide important ecological services such as stormwater management and pollinator habitat.

At the same time, as New England’s most densely populated community, the percentage of land dedicated to open space in Somerville is small. In 2010, SomerVision, Somerville’s comprehensive plan, established the goal of creating 125 new acres of publicly-accessible open space. From 2010-2019, 19.9 new acres have been created or are in the process of being created. Somerville is now in the process of updating SomerVision. In addition, several neighborhoods are slated for major redevelopment, creating a unique opportunity to partner with private developers to create more open space through privately owned public spaces (POPS). To make greater progress towards the SomerVision goal and to take advantage of new opportunities that come with redevelopment, Somerville needs a thoughtful strategy that grapples with the realities of open space creation and lays out implementable actions that will result in more open space for all residents.

The purpose of this Strategy Memo is to provide recommendations for what such a strategy should include. It is intended to inform the SomerVision Steering Committee’s process in selecting goals and metrics related to open space creation, as well as City of Somerville staff as they are working to create new open space.

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