Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

September 15, 2013

Cambridge Inside Out (the Sequel): Episode 1 – PR Voting in Cambridge

Our first broadcast of “Cambridge Inside Out – The Sequel” featured PR voting in Cambridge. The co-hosts are Susana Segat and Robert Winters.
The show’s name derives from the show “Cambridge Inside Out” hosted by Glenn Koocher that ran for 11 years from 1989 through 2001 on Cambridge Cable TV.

September 9, 2013

Back to School – Mon, Sept 9, 2013 Cambridge City Council meeting preview

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 11:25 am

Back to School – Mon, Sept 9, 2013 Cambridge City Council meeting preview

School is back in session for our intrepid Cambridge city councillors. After 6 weeks of vacation they return to a predictably long agenda with few controversial items. Here are some highlights (additional comments to follow):

Manager’s Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 13-15, regarding creating a short term task force that will consider drafting a municipal ordinance related to outdoor lighting.

This task force comes about as a result of the ill-fated Teague petition that would have prohibited some types of outdoor lighting in new buildings only. The task force has a goal of finalizing its recommendations by early 2014.

Manager’s Agenda #22. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation not to adopt the Popper-Keizer, et al Zoning Petition.

Manager’s Agenda #23. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation not to adopt the Craig Kelley Petition as proposed (Flat Roofs/Rainwater Separation).

No comment here on these two zoning petitions receiving negative recommendations from the Planning Board. Links are provided to the PDF reports.

Charter Right #2. That the City Manager is requested to set up a $20,000 one-year Build Neighborhoods Fund from Community Benefits funds. [was: Order #16 of July 29, 2013]

However well-intentioned this Order from Councillor vanBeuzekom may be, there are some inherent risks associated with the distribution of public money to neighborhood groups. It’s reassuring that the Order included the following: "ORDERED: That distribution of the Build Neighborhoods Fund use a system similar to the former Police Community grants – in that grant recipients use requirements and grant spending reporting is clearly communicated." With appropriate safeguards, small grants like this (up to $500) can be enormously helpful for graffiti removal initiatives, neighborhood cleanups, block parties and other "wholesome" activities.

Charter Right #4. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on the rationale and thought process of the License Commission on the proposed increase of liquor license fees prior to the change taking effect. [was: Order #20 of July 29, 2013]

The License Commission recently jacked up the annual fees licensees are required to pay to cover enforcement and other costs. I have heard that there is some resentment from the proprietors of well-behaved restaurants that they have to bear the cost of misbehaved bars and nightclubs.

Resolution #89. Congratulating Jane Kenworthy Lewis on being appointed Acting Clerk of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.   Vice Mayor Simmons

Congratulations to Jane Lewis on this significant appointment. Jane was one of our original band of recycling advocates over 24 years ago and one of our hardest working volunteers. She also played a major role in the drafting of the City’s Municipal Recycling Ordinance.

Resolution #132. Congratulations to Iram Farooq on being appointed Acting Deputy Director of the Community Development Department.   Mayor Davis

If appointments like this are based on earning your stripes through great work, then Iram has more than earned her stripes during the recent planning processes for Kendall Square and Central Square. This really is a great appointment.

Resolution #141. Thanks to the Masse family and the FX Masse Hardware Co. staff for their many years of exemplary service and assistance to Cambridge residents.   Mayor Davis

Some multi-generational institutions like Masse Hardware deserve their own chapters in the history of Cambridge. Though I understand that new housing will appear at Masse’s Corner, I mourn the passing of the essential retail it provided for so many years. I am constantly aware of the steady slide from essential retail toward restaurants, cafes, and similar uses. We all love our restaurants and cafes, but now we often have to go to Somerville and elsewhere to buy our groceries, clothing, and other supplies. If there was one act of magic I wish the City could perform, it would be to invent a way that we can attract and retain essential retail in Cambridge. A classic diner or two would also be welcome.

Resolution #148. Thanks to Sergeant Kathleen Murphy, Cambridge Police Department, for her many years of service to the City of Cambridge and best wishes in her retirement.   Mayor Davis

Yes, indeed. Sergeant Murphy has been a regular presence at the semi-annual rides organized by the Cambridge Bike Committee. I hope she’ll continue to ride with us (without the uniform) for many years to come.

Resolution #149. Congratulations to City Councillor Leland Cheung and his wife Yin Zhou on the birth of their daughter Lela Marie Zhou.   Councillor vanBeuzekom

If Councillor Cheung seems tired at the meeting, we’ll give him a pass. Congratulations Leland, Yin, and Lela Marie!

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Police Commissioner as to whether the City of Cambridge currently reports crime gun information to the E-Trace system and, if not, explore the feasibility of doing so.   Councillor Cheung

If we add some high-resolution security cameras on a few key streets, we may do a lot to assist Cambridge Police in solving serious crimes involving deadly weapons. Any word yet on the June 2012 murder of Charlene Holmes?

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant staff and report back to the City Council with a plan to review and adjust news box placement to ensure the general public’s access to the sidewalk is not unreasonably hindered.   Councillor Kelley

This was the subject of much deliberation in the City Council during the months prior to the enactment of the Newsbox Ordinance in February 1999. Two things are worth noting. First, there were probably more newsboxes in 1999 than there are now as printed material has given way to electronic Spam, social media, and online shopping. Second, fenced-in outdoor dining and Hubway stations now consume (and sometimes obstruct) at least as much sidewalk space as any newsboxes.

Order #10. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City staff about the possibilities of starting street cleaning at a later time in the morning.   Councillor Kelley

The 7:00am blaring of the announcement from the DPW sound car can be a bit annoying, but the tagging and towing doesn’t start until a perfectly reasonable 8:00am and everyone knows that you can park after the street cleaning is complete. If you push back the start time, you also push back the time at which it’s safe to park again. It’s probably best to leave well enough alone. If you want to do something more meaningful, allow people with resident stickers to park free at metered spaces until 9:00am or 10:00am. Any councillors care to submit such an Order?

Order #18. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City and CPS staff about the usefulness of an "Open Right" campaign to prevent "dooring" to cyclists and how such a public awareness campaign might be implemented.   Councillor Kelley

Anything that can be done to better educate the public about this hazard is a good thing. Then again, they may forget while they’re texting and juggling their coffee. Another Order I would suggest is to ask the Traffic & Parking Officers to strictly enforce the requirement that vehicles park within a foot (hopefully less) of the curb. It’s incredible how many lazy drivers park several feet from the curb – and this can be a serious hazard for cyclists in the roadway.

Order #20. That the City Council go on record urging the President of Cambridge College to assent to a meeting with representatives of the Cambridge College security officers and with members of SEIU Local 615 to discuss labor issues and that the City Council refuse to attend any events at Cambridge College until such time that a meeting has been scheduled.   Vice Mayor Simmons

Will this apply to the City Council Candidates Forum sponsored by the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Association at Cambridge College on October 2?

Order #24. That the City Manager is requested to evaluate the use of green colored pavement within bike lanes along major roadways and at key intersections, especially considering Massachusetts Avenue, Hampshire Street, Broadway, Huron Avenue, and Concord Avenue.   Councillor vanBeuzekom

I recall that this was done in the past in Central Square and elsewhere (with blue paint), but it didn’t take too long for the paint to wear away. This would be a waste of paint along roadways, but there are some applications in and around intersections that might make sense.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Leland Cheung, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee, for a public meeting held on July 23, 2013 to review recommendations for the best practices in supporting neighborhood groups and to determine best strategies going forward.

As stated above, there are inherent risks associated with the distribution of public money to neighborhood groups. It is a fact that some neighborhood groups (and associations of neighborhood groups) are de facto political action committees. The City should support helpful initiatives from residents, but not politicized neighborhood groups.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Leland Cheung, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee, for a public meeting held on July 30, 2013 to discuss assessing the current status of Central Square following the Central Square Advisory Committee’s non-zoning recommendations and exploring potential options to make the neighborhood a safer and more family-friendly area.

This meeting featured a significant amount of input from residents about problematic behavior in and around Central Square. Other significant non-zoning elements include the design and maintenance of public space, retail, cultural and non-profit diversity, connecting people to the Square, environmental issues, the status of the municipal parking lots, monitoring public benefits, and traffic and transportation issues. It’s a full plate.

Committee Report #4. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Marjorie C. Decker, Chair of the Finance Committee, for a public hearing held on July 31, 2013 to examine the finances of various proposals for the future of the Foundry Building.

Deciding on the disposition of this building is the subject of four City Council committees. The Foundry building was transferred to the City as a result of the Alexandria rezoning process with the intention that it would be used for municipal or community uses. Ten thousand square feet (10,000) would be used for community purposes. There are, however, significant costs in preparing the building for public use. This is a hotly debated topic that we will certainly be hearing more about during the current municipal election season.

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a public meeting held on Aug 21, 2013 to discuss new meeting protocols as they relate to resolutions and policy orders and record keeping of the City Council Minutes.

Some of the revised procedures are good and useful, but some of the unintended consequences of recent revisions to the Open Meeting Law have been problematic. Perhaps the Mass. State Legislature should revisit this law to address some of these more problematic consequences – especially those aspects that thwart collaboration in order prevent collusion.

Committee Report #6. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a public meeting held on Aug 7, 2013 to receive a brief update on community benefits from the nonprofit summit.

Much of this discussion grows out of the recent trend during rezoning negotiations to encourage "community benefits" donations – a somewhat suspicious trend in that it has the appearance of essentially purchasing increased height and density in proposed development projects. As the saying goes, "money changes everything." Now that some funds have been accumulating, the elected officials and City administration are haggling over how these funds can be legally spent. My primary thoughts on this are that things worked much better when Cambridge businesses and institutions focused on charitable giving to support the people of Cambridge through a variety of programs independent of local government. The trend toward City-controlled "community benefit funds" is a road that we perhaps should have avoided entirely. – Robert Winters

September 3, 2013

300 Mass. Ave./Forest City project gets final Planning Board approval

Filed under: Cambridge,Central Square,planning — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 11:58 pm

Sept 3, 2013 – The Cambridge Planning Board tonight gave its unanimous final approval to the design of the proposed building at 300 Mass. Ave. that had been the subject of multiple iterations of a zoning petition by Forest City/MIT.

300 Mass. Ave. - Proposed Design
300 Mass. Ave. – Proposed Design (June 2013)
300 Mass. Ave. - Approved Design
300 Mass. Ave. – Approved Design (Sept 2013)

This marks the successful final step of what has been a very long process that began with the initial filing in February 2011 of a zoning petition to extend the Cambridgeport Revitalization Development District (CRDD) to include this Mass. Ave. frontage from MIT’s Random Hall up to Blanche Street (commonly referred to as the "All Asia Block"). In a sense, this story really began several decades ago with the original plans for University Park that included this block but which was subsequently excised due to different property ownership. Only in recent years have those other owners been willing to enter into the arrangement that led to the proposal now finally approved and proceeding toward demolition and construction.

The February 2011 zoning petition was eventually withdrawn but was re-filed in March 2012. That zoning petition spawned a backlash when, at the City’s urging, a slender residential tower at Sydney and Green Streets was included in the plans. Amid complaints over excessive shadows and the loss of a small park, the residential component was removed from the proposal in its Ordinance Committee. In a curious twist, many of the same people who objected to the proposed housing morphed into housing activists as they objected to the proposed commercial building. This zoning petition was then allowed to expire in August 2012. It was re-filed in substantially the same form in December 2012 along with a revised memorandum of understanding that reaffirmed a variety of housing commitments and added the promise of new affordable housing units in the future. That zoning amendment eventually passed unanimously in February 2013.

With the new zoning in hand, there was still the design review process required under the zoning. The architects had an initial review before the Central Square Advisory Committee in June followed by the initial Planning Board hearing on July 9. There were some objections from the Board and unresolved issues with an abutter, so another hearing was scheduled for August 6. Rather than get the go-ahead as expected, there were still a few substantial objections remaining – primarily concerning the significant amount of glass on the Mass. Ave. facade, so yet another hearing was scheduled. At the September 3 hearing the architects presented much more aesthetically pleasing plans and the Planning Board gave an enthusiastic and unanimous vote of approval.

In addition to a very good building, the plans include a cooperative plan with the City to transform Blanche Street between Green Street and Mass. Ave. into a "shared street" or woonerf, a Dutch word that means "living street" where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists. Two examples of this kind of treatment are Palmer Street and Winthrop Street in Harvard Square. There will also be a significant row of new small-scale retail along the Mass. Ave. frontage.

It has to be noted that, as has happened before in Cambridge, this development proposal left a political vestige – the opposition group that calls itself the Cambridge Residents Alliance (CRA). Their primary activities to date include (1) a zoning proposal that would have preserved in perpetuity the surface parking lots in Central Square and harshly capped all building heights and densities in and around Central Square, (2) a proposed citywide moratorium on most large-scale residential or commercial development, (3) an activist core that presents highly disputable claims of "a tsunami of development" and "crush hour on the Red Line", and (4) the inevitable effort to promote anti-development candidates for City Council in the upcoming election. Another group called "A Better Cambridge" (ABC) was formed that generally supports "smart growth" principles and good urban design but remains apolitical.

The ABC group has been largely supportive of the recommendations that grew out of the 2011-2012 Central Square Advisory Committee and its predecessor Mayor’s Red Ribbon Commission. The CRA has been primarily opposed to any of the recommendations that would permit any substantial new construction or redevelopment in Central Square (and elsewhere in Cambridge). So even as the Forest City/MIT plans for 300 Mass. Ave. proceed toward construction, the seeds have been sown for the latest episode in the never-ending competition of visions for the future of Cambridge and Central Square – just in time for this year’s municipal election season. Indeed, a very good case can be made that the current "Net Zero Petition" (introduced by many of the same activists who have been opposing new construction) is a proxy to stop all new large-scale residential and commercial construction. – Robert Winters

August 22, 2013

Danehy Park Family Day – Saturday, September 21

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 1:35 pm

Danehy Park Family Day Saturday, Sept. 21

Danehy Park Family DayThe City of Cambridge will host the 18th Annual Danehy Park Family Day on Saturday, September 21, from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Enjoy a fun-filled day of children’s amusement rides, arts and crafts, music and roving performers, plus free hot dogs, chips, sodas and T-shirts while supplies last! Check out performances throughout the day at the children’s stage. Other special giveaways include colorful kites that appeal to kids of all ages! The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 22.

Danehy Park is a 55-acre facility located at 99 Sherman Street in North Cambridge (adjacent to Garden and New Streets). This free event, sponsored by the City of Cambridge, attracts over 4,000 people annually and offers something for everyone.

Shuttle buses will be running throughout Cambridge to provide transportation. Danehy Park can be reached by public transportation: #74 bus or #78 bus from Harvard Square; #83 bus from Central Square; or take a shuttle bus from the Alewife MBTA Station. Picnics and lawn chairs are encouraged.

For more information, call 617-349-4301 or visit www.cambridgema.gov.

Danehy Park Family Day  Danehy Park Family Day

August 21, 2013

Come Join the Parade – Thurs, Aug 22, 6:30pm from City Hall to Lafayette Square with the Dirty Water Brass Band

Filed under: Cambridge,Central Square — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 11:02 am

Come Join the Parade – Thurs, Aug 22, 6:30pm from City Hall to Lafayette Square with the Dirty Water Brass Band

(with stops along the way)
August Parade

August Parade  August Parade

PS – We’re going to try to do this every Thursday. Stay tuned!

August 19, 2013

Official Candidate List for 2013 Cambridge Municipal Election

LIST OF CANDIDATES WHO WILL APPEAR ON THE BALLOT FOR THE NOVEMBER 5, 2013 MUNICIPAL ELECTION


CITY COUNCIL

Dennis A. Benzan – 1 Pine Street  
Dennis J. Carlone – 9 Washington Avenue  
Leland Cheung – 157 Garden Street Candidate for Re-Election
Janneke Ann House – 12 Hilliard Street  
Craig A. Kelley – 6 Saint Gerard Terrace Candidate for Re-Election
James Jongsoo Lee – 400 Broadway  
Logan Edward Leslie – 204 Fayerweather Street  
David P. Maher – 120 Appleton Street Candidate for Re-Election
Nadeem A. Mazen – 73 A Magazine Street  
Marc C. McGovern – 15 Pleasant Street  
Gary W. Mello – 324 Franklin Street  
Mushtaque A. Mirza – 843 Massachusetts Avenue      
Gregg J. Moree – 25 Fairfield Street  
Ronald Peden – 25 Aberdeen Avenue  
Lesley Rebecca Phillips – 1643 Cambridge Street  
Kenneth E. Reeves – 340 Harvard Street Candidate for Re-Election
Sam Seidel – 381 Broadway  
E. Denise Simmons – 188 Harvard Street Candidate for Re-Election
Jefferson R. Smith – 134 Tremont Street  
Timothy J. Toomey, Jr. – 88 6th Street Candidate for Re-Election
Minka Y. vanBeuzekom – 20 Essex Street Candidate for Re-Election
Luis Vasquez – 23 Market Street  
Kristen Lane Von Hoffmann – 205 Walden Street  
James M. Williamson – 1000 Jackson Place  
Elie Yarden – 143 Pleasant Street  

SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Fran Albin Cronin – 1 Kimball Lane  
Alfred B. Fantini – 4 Canal Park Candidate for Re-Election
Joyce C. Gerber – 10 Fairfield Street  
Richard Harding, Jr. – 189 Windsor Street     Candidate for Re-Election
John J. Holland – 26 Normandy Terrace  
Elechi M. Kadete – 10 Laurel Street  
Kathleen M. Kelly – 17 Marie Avenue  
Patricia M. Nolan – 184 Huron Avenue Candidate for Re-Election
Mervan F. Osborne – 149 Auburn Street Candidate for Re-Election

NOTICE TO CANDIDATES

If the entry for any candidate does not reflect the correct spelling of his/her name, the correct office for which he/she filed, or is in error in any other respect, please immediately contact Tanya L. Ford, Executive Director, Election Commission, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, Telephone (617) 349-4361, since this list will be used as the official proof for printing municipal ballots.

Printable official version (PDF)

[released Aug 19, 2013]

August 18, 2013

A Better Cambridge response to Connolly Net Zero Zoning Petition

Filed under: Cambridge,planning — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 6:09 pm

A Better Cambridge response to Connolly Net Zero Zoning Petition

The members of A Better Cambridge thank the proponents of the Connolly Net Zero Petition for provoking such an important discussion about climate change adaptation in Cambridge. The Connolly Petition has challenged our community to take a serious look at how we will eliminate consumption of fossil fuels and promote alternative energy use across the city of Cambridge.

A better Cambridge is a net zero Cambridge. Eliminating carbon emissions should be a primary goal in Cambridge. We believe that a viable approach to serious energy efficiency in Cambridge relies on a multi-pronged strategy that addresses what we require of new development and how we adapt existing buildings, with a focus on multi-modal transportation throughout. A key achievement will be that carbon emissions are reduced within our city through construction of better and more efficient buildings, without at the same time exporting emissions to communities outside of our borders.

While taking this serious and long-overdue look at building efficiency in Cambridge we can’t also lose sight of important community development challenges facing our city. The cost of rent continues to rise in Cambridge, and condos here are being sold for hugely inflated prices. Promoting the development of more mixed residential and commercial buildings around Cambridge’s existing transportation hubs is a key strategy in our ability to make housing more affordable for all people in Cambridge. We have serious concerns that the Connolly Petition’s narrow focus on large scale new development will hurt our ability to create the new affordable low- and middle-income housing that is now so desperately needed to keep Cambridge a diverse and sustainable community.

When it comes to housing, most research and practice-based evidence into the feasibility of cost-effective net zero housing applies to low-density, single-family homes in moderate climates like California. This is not the type of new housing we should expect or hope for in Cambridge, and there is insufficient evidence to make any conclusions about the feasibility of developing net zero multifamily housing here. This places at risk the viability of important projects like housing at the Sullivan Courthouse, for which residents of East Cambridge have been fighting. If the Cambridge Housing Authority development currently planned for Temple Street were subject to the requirements of the Connolly Petition, it almost certainly would not go forward.

In a 2012 study “Think Bigger: Net-Zero Communities” the authors, who represent the Alliance to Save Energy, the Urban Land Institute, and the U.S. Department of Energy, effectively argue that “achieving net-zero energy across an entire building stock requires looking beyond individual buildings and considering net-zero at a community scale.” They state that:

  1. it might not be feasible to achieve net zero energy in every building – this might be more realistic for buildings evaluated together;
  2. Multi-building systems offer opportunities for lower energy use through heat sharing and load diversity; and
  3. drawing a larger perimeter around multiple buildings and adjacent open space allows us to consider “nearby” renewable energy sources thus keeping buildings and urban densities in the net zero mix.

As the study goes on to explain, we need an approach to net-zero that allows for the diversity of building types, uses, and climates and also one that will not dilute urban density in favor of low-rise sprawl. We believe these points are wholly missed in the Connolly Petition’s approach to net zero.

Focusing only on new development, even of substantial square footage, will seriously limit the impact of the Connolly Petition. New construction is small compared to our existing building stock, and anything built after 2010 must comply with Cambridge’s stretch code — energy efficiency standards that are among the toughest in the nation, which have effectively increased the stock of highly energy efficient commercial, residential and institutional buildings in Cambridge without negatively impacting our progress towards key social goods like affordable, multi-family housing.

It would be important to tackle this in a more robust and holistic fashion: require developers to meet “Architecture 2030” goals for new buildings, a program that phases in fossil fuel reductions while, more importantly, targeting our biggest consumers of energy — our existing building stock. For example, this could be accomplished by specifically allocating community benefit funds awarded under new development to support greater energy efficiency conversion subsidies in Cambridge’s existing building stock. Under the Connolly Petition developers could meet net zero requirements by paying for carbon offsets — while missing the opportunity to direct more funding to key community and economic development opportunities.

From a carbon emissions reduction standpoint, Cambridge is a great place to build. Every hundred thousand square feet we add here is a hundred thousand square feet that’s not going up along Routes 128 or 495. Even a net-zero building in a suburban office park is likely to generate a far more negative impact on the climate and the environment than a building in Cambridge that complies with our currently applicable codes and regulations. Suburban construction often involves leveling greenspace and removing acres of carbon-absorbing vegetation. Storm runoff is unlikely to be carried through a separated system, as in much of Cambridge; instead, it is likely to be mixed with sewage, and treated in an emissions-intensive process. Connecting the new structure to roads and utilities generates additional impacts. Workers are far more likely to commute by car, pumping out carbon emissions, and accommodating their vehicles requires additional construction. Of course, no other local town is proposing to require net-zero construction; few even approach Cambridge’s current sustainability standards. The actual choice facing many developers is between meeting Cambridge’s rigorous standards, or taking advantage of the relatively lax rules imposed by most suburban communities. As we work to reduce carbon emissions, it makes sense to keep this broader picture in mind.

Any comprehensive plan to tackle carbon emissions in the Commonwealth would involve incentivizing developers to site their buildings along public transportation networks and proximate to dense residential areas. The Connolly petition, although clearly well-intentioned, seems likely to raise the cost of new development in Cambridge relative to surrounding communities, having the contrary effect. All carbon emissions, whatever their point of origin, have the same impact on our community and our environment. To the extent that this petition moves new construction away from Cambridge, with its high standards on sustainability, and into surrounding areas, it runs a substantial risk of actually raising the very emissions it proposes to contain. We do not believe that this is the outcome the petition seeks, nor do we think it is an outcome that most residents desire.

Focusing on net zero and energy efficiency only neglects the importance of addressing climate change adaptation holistically: in addition to energy efficiency of new buildings and existing buildings, we need to focus on other key climate mitigation strategies such as addressing water resources, resilience planning and mitigation, and innovative and integrated transportation strategies and policies that will effectively move people from their cars into alternative, low- or no-emissions transportation options.

Again, A Better Cambridge thanks the proponents of the Connolly Petition for challenging our community to take this important look at our carbon footprint in Cambridge. Unfortunately, we believe the proposed zoning takes a far too narrow approach that may effectively stall the very type of development we need to actually reduce emissions while addressing key housing/community development needs here in Cambridge.

Talking about Cambridge elections and other stuff (Aug 6, CCTV)

Filed under: 2013 Election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 2:32 pm

Robert Winters with Ann Cowen on CCTV, Aug 6, 2013

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