Upcoming Event: Reclaiming neighborhoods: Better living with less traffic

Charlestown, Somerville and Jamaica Plain are all in the process of reclaiming parts of their neighborhoods from large hunks of highway-like infrastructure from the 1950s. Namely, the Sullivan Square underpass, the Casey Overpass, and the McGrath Highway. Each plan for a new system of at-grade roadways promises to bring back neighborhoods long given over to the perceived needs of automobiles, but two of the plans have also had their share of opponents.

This event is a rare opportunity to hear from two nationally prominent authorities on the topic of freeway removal and traffic calming, Peter Park and Ian Lockwood. These two Loeb Fellows will show Motor City-era propaganda films that give us an idea of how we originally ended up with highways cutting through our cities, and then illustrate with concrete examples how cities across the country are envisioning and reclaiming neighborhoods for all users, including cyclists, pedestrians, transit users and motorists.
We welcome and invite proponents and skeptics alike to listen to these two fascinating transportation thinkers, and then engage in a lengthy Q & A session.

Part II of the Connect the City Speaker Series:
Reclaiming Neighborhoods: Better Living Through Less Traffic
May 15, 6pm to 8:30pm
MGH Charlestown Healthcare Center
73 High Street
Charlestown, MA 02129


Ian Lockwood, P.E., is a principal with AECOM, a leading Fortune 500 multi-disciplinary design firm. He is recognized for his work on Smart Growth, context-sensitive design, historic preservation, and traffic calming. His passion is improving places socially, economically, and environmentally. He is well published and enjoys speaking at professional conferences, seminars, and occasionally on NPR. Ian has helped reform movements at several state departments of transportation through policy work, training, guideline preparation, and leading projects. In recent years, Ian has helped various public health organizations make stronger connections between the built environment and community health. One of Ian’s projects was an integrated transportation and land use plan in New Jersey that stopped a major freeway from being built and won the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ 2009 Project of the Year. The project saved the State money, avoided damaging wetlands and historic farms, and resulted in a walkable place with a connected open space system.

Peter J. Park served as planning director for a total of 16 years in Milwaukee and Denver. His integrated approach to comprehensive planning, urban design, and development review resulted in clear visions for sustainable urban development, places of high quality design, and streamlined development permitting systems. He led the preparation of downtown plans, numerous neighborhood plans, and comprehensive zoning code updates in both cities. In Milwaukee, significant projects include the replacement of the elevated Park East freeway with an at-grade boulevard that catalyzes new downtown development and the Beerline B, a new mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood along the Milwaukee River. Significant work in Denver includes redevelopment of Denver Union Station as the hub of Fastracks (the largest public transit project in the nation), several transit-oriented development (TOD) station area plans, and adoption of a new context and form-based zoning code applied citywide.


  1. Jason on May 10, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Will there be food provided?

    • Pete Stidman (Union Director) on May 11, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Just food for the brain this time around.

  2. Trevor Parsons on June 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Great to hear that some petrol-age infrastructure is being de-emphasised and dismantled in your city. My tiny quibble would be the headline. “Better living with less *motor* traffic”, surely. After all, we *are* the traffic.

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