Dr. James C. O’Connell, a planner with the National Park Service, takes a detailed look at "compact mixed-use development in suburban Boston" with an eye on smart-growth policies such as re-using previously developed sites and building near mass transit.
"Some communities in Eastern Massachusetts want mixed-use development near public transit stops in order to attract commuters to become residents. Such town center redevelopment is not just an alternative to sprawl, it revitalizes traditional business centers, many of which had been declining for years," the report notes. "Living and shopping in town centers is growing in popularity, especially for young adults and empty-nesters. Apartments and townhouses in town centers are an emerging housing market niche."
Despite the fact that Dr. O'Connell calls Framingham "a small city" and Natick a "large town" (news flash: Framingham is the largest town in Massachusetts), this is an interesting roundup for those seeking to see the status of mixed-use projects throughout the region.