March 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 7:00pm

Envision Cambridge with Melissa Peterson


These note were submitted by Jeff Byrnes.


Melissa Peters from the City of Cambridge presented on the Envision Cambridge process, current status, and future results. She took us through a presentation, showing that the Alewife area is already benefitting from study done as part of Envision Cambridge, and showed areas that will receive intensive, cursory, or no study as part of the process.


She elaborated on the timeline, and took questions throughout the presentation. The questions evolved into a lively conversation amongst the neighbors with topics such as transit & mobility, capital-A Affordable housing, density, and some comparison from myself on what’s happened/happening in Somerville (i.e., SomerVision and the in-process zoning reform).


Of especial interest was the idea of an Affordable Housing Overlay District for the entire city, which would allow by-right development of 100% subsidized low-income housing if it meets yet-to-be-determined zoning guidelines. This provoked much interest because it would be the entire city, and the potential developments would likely be more dense than their surroundings in order to make their financials work.


Conversation was lively, interested, and thoughtful, and I heard many express afterwards that this was one of the most informative meetings they’d been to anywhere.


Melissa said,

"If people are interested in receiving email updates, they can sign-up for our newsletter at

It was a great discussion! I’m happy to come back to discuss draft recommendations and citywide scenarios. Please let people know they can reach out to me with any questions or comments at"


Other viewpoints are welcome.  Please just send them to