The first phase of the Master Plan process is off to a strong start!
With facilitation from Kathryn Madden, a well respected planning professional, the Master Plan process has already engaged hundreds of residents from across the city over the past two weeks. Dubbed Cambridge Conversations by the city's Community Development Department, this is exactly how you start a planning process -- with an open conversation.
People walk into these discussions with different perspectives, but as they talk about what's makes Cambridge special -- and what needs to improve -- they actually start working together to address many of the issues facing our city.
Will these exercises be enough to produce a comprehensive Master Plan? No, of course not. This is only the first phase, and many issues will require research and new alternatives. Nevertheless, I consider the start of the Master Plan process to be a big milestone for our city because it's enabling people to share ideas and find common ground on difficult issues.
The last big Conversation is scheduled for tomorrow, from 10 am until noon, at Cambridge College. Food will be provided, and it's actually a lot of fun. I encourage you to join the discussion and work with us to help shape our city's future.
If you can't make it tomorrow, don't worry. A number of smaller drop-in sessions are scheduled for the rest of the month. After that, we will begin to synthesize the points of discussion, and then it will be up to the city council's Ordinance Committee to help establish urban planning and community development priorities for the next two years, while the Master Plan process continues.