Newton Center has a lot of interesting stores and restaurants but a rather unfortunate design, since the focal point of much of the business district - the center of the Centre, so to speak - is the parking lot. Seriously.
If you've never been there, the heart of the prime retail area is a large paved and unlandscaped parking area. People who want to get from one grouping of stores to another often have to cross multiple streets and the large parking lot. This discourages shoppers from visiting more than one retail grouping, yet still requires anyone parking in that lot to cross a street no matter where they're heading.
The Newton Centre Task Force has hired a landscape architect, Bruce Leish, who has sketched out the concept of a park in the center including some kind of public meeting space, according to the Globe. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.