After an intensive debate, and weeks of speculation, the Cambridge City Council has unanimously approved our combined Master Plan policy order!
Check out the following article in today's Cambridge Chronicle --
I cannot think of a more fitting headline myself.
To be sure, this is only the first step toward a Master Plan, and more work will need to be done in the coming weeks and months. But it's important step, and I know it would not have been possible without the advocacy of many Cambridge residents.
To everyone who called, emailed, or testified in support of this initiative, please let me say: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The next step will be a series of meetings in different locations across the city, where independent planning and urban design professionals will engage the public on areas of interest and concern. I will be sure to keep everyone posted about those meetings as dates and times are announced.
From there, the city council will come together at a Round Table meeting to address the Master Plan issue, decide upon the scope of future planning work, and also, help establish urban planning and community development priorities.
That latter part about "establishing priorities" is key, because we know there are some issues that are so pressing (such as the ongoing need for more affordable housing, the proposed redevelopment of the Sullivan Courthouse, and the traffic and transportation issues associated with rapid growth in the Fresh Pond / Alewife area) that we cannot wait for the new Master Plan to address them...
So, we need to multitask. We need to simultaneously have the big conversations that we need to have to set up the citywide planning work that we need to do, while also identifying and responding to all of our most urgent challenges. With continued dialogue and engagement, I believe we can do just that.