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Designing Cities 2022: Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, Sep 07

Wednesday, Sep 07 - 8:30 am - 12:00 pm (6 Events)

Workshop: Don’t Give Up At the Intersection - Signals & Sticky Spots Edition

Training
Don’t think you have room for a protected intersection? Not sure how to give bikes priority over turning cars? This practical training combines the power of time (signals) and space (geometric solutions) for tricky bikeway intersections. Learn how

Workshop: Move! That! Bus! Designing Streets for Transit

Training
Redesigning city streets to get the bus out of slow traffic is one of the most effective ways to improve reliability, increase ridership, and fight climate change. By painting bus lanes, retiming signals, and fixing pain points at

Workshop: Redesigning Major Streets For Safety

Training
Picture your city’s biggest, widest, most risky arterial. It probably has lots of lanes, lots of cars, frequent crashes and injuries, and traffic swinging from stop-and-go to fast-and-furious. How can we fix it? Join this workshop for

Workshop: Crash Course in Public Speaking

Training
Communication matters. As transportation practitioners, it’s natural for us to use technical jargon and too many acronyms in our daily communication. But, it’s important and necessary to connect with the public, meet your audience where they are, and

Workshop: Projects To Programs

Training
One high-quality bike or bus lane is great, but, on its own, one project is rarely enough to significantly change how people get around. As traffic fatalities continue to increase and the planet continues to warm, cities are

Workshop: Meetings That Matter: Building Facilitation Skills

Training
Meetings and all sorts of people-convenings are critical to getting our work done well, but far too often, they feel like a poor use of valuable time, with unclear goals, the wrong people in the room, unengaged participants,

Thursday, Sep 08

Thursday, Sep 08 - 9:30 am - 12:15 pm (27 Events)

Walkshop: Making Tremont Street Safer: A Journey through Space and Time

Walkshop
Big changes are underway to make Tremont Street better for people of all ages and abilities. Join Boston Transportation Department staff on a tour of this vibrant corridor in Boston’s walkable South End, a neighborhood that encompasses the city’s rich

Walkshop: The Real Bike Rooms of Boston

Walkshop
It’s been over ten years since Boston established minimum guidelines for bicycle parking in new developments. But all bike rooms are not created equal. In 2019, we revisited our guidelines–comparing ourselves to peer cities, surveying users, visiting bike rooms, and

Walkshop: A Journey to the Center of the Street: Center-Running Bus Lanes on Columbus Avenue

Walkshop
Side-running bus lanes are great, but moving bus lanes to the center of the street removes conflicts and helps bus service reach its full potential. On this walkshop, we'll visit the Columbus Avenue project, a collaboration between the City of Boston

Walkshop: Fare Free Buses: Policy in Action

Walkshop
What is a fair fare? Learn about the many ways the City of Boston is working to tackle this issue. We'll start by taking a fare-free bus from Ruggles Station, where we'll get to see all-door boarding in action, to Nubian

Walkshop: Bike, Scoot or Walk Boston's Best

Walkshop
Explore the latest, greatest and safest bicycle infrastructure in Boston. We'll start with the Harvard Bridge, where advocates partnered with the state DOT to use traffic cones to install a 4-to-2 road diet for the busiest bicycle route in the state.

Walkshop: Western Avenue, River Street and the Carl Barron Plaza

Walkshop
Join us for a tour of Western Avenue, which received the “Best Bicycle Lane of the Year” award from PeopleForBikes in 2015. We’ll talk about community engagement processes, and how neighbors and city officials were brought on board to support

Walkshop: Vision Zero Corridor Tour: College Avenue and Powder House Circle

Walkshop
How can a functioning road diet be applied to a high-volume traffic circle? Join City project managers on a tour of Somerville’s College Avenue corridor, which is only 40’ wide but handles 200+ bus trips per day. We’ll examine aggressive

Walkshop: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in East Somerville

Walkshop
The legacy of America’s highway-building era weighs heavily on the East Somerville community, which features dense, mixed-income neighborhoods burdened by particulate pollution, unhealthy noise levels and disproportionate frequency and severity of traffic crashes. On this tour, we'll speak with local

Walkshop: Union Square: Organizing Public and Private Investment

Walkshop
Join us for a tour of Union Square, Somerville’s historic and future downtown, as well as a key center of civic life, international culture and the arts economy. In order to make the case for the MBTA Green Line light rail

Walkshop: New Neighborhoods: Somerville’s Assembly Square

Walkshop
Connecting new development districts to the existing urban and social fabric can be challenging. On this tour, we'll wander the streets and public spaces of Somerville’s Assembly Square neighborhood, a 100-acre planned development district on the banks of the Mystic

Walkshop: Upping the Ante: Quick-Build BRT Solutions for Broadway in Winter Hill

Walkshop
Mega-projects alone can’t solve the urgent mobility challenges facing our communities. While MBTA Green Line light rail construction was underway in Somerville in 2019, the City simultaneously installed a ½-mile long, bi-directional, all-day bus lane on a major transit corridor

Walkshop: Rail with Trail: The Somerville Community Path Extension

Walkshop
Experience the brand-new Somerville Community Path Extension, a dramatic two-mile shared-use path running alongside an active rail corridor through the heart of New England’s densest municipality. Learn how grassroots and official advocacy created a viable funding strategy for the Path

Walkshop: Reimagining Shared Space in Cambridge’s Cultural District

Walkshop
Take a walk through Central Square, Cambridge’s only Cultural District and Business Improvement District. Central Square is a neighborhood in flux, known locally as a cultural destination and bookended by world-class institutions of higher learning. It’s a crossroads of the

Walkshop: Urban Transit and Bike Streets in Cambridge

Walkshop
Massachusetts Avenue is the transportation “spine” of the Boston region. In recent years, Cambridge has redesigned two sections of “Mass Ave” to prioritize sustainable transportation. Our WalkShop will take us through these two sections, which have markedly different characteristics. South Mass

Walkshop: Boston City Hall and the Plaza, Then and Now

Walkshop
Take a tour of the iconic Boston City Hall, a brutalist building that opened to the public in 1969. Learn about its history, recent evolution, and future conservation, while also visiting the newly completed first phase renovation of City Hall

Walkshop: Managing Growth and Density in Kendall Square

Walkshop
Kendall Square has been called the densest square mile of innovation on the planet. Its information technology, social media, genomic research and biomedical research companies attract thousands of employees and visitors. Many of these organizations have relationships with MIT and

Walkshop: Two Communities, Two Bridges, Connected by Bikes

Walkshop
Boston and Cambridge have been peering at each other over the Charles River for three hundred years. First, horse carriages and later trains plied over the bridges connecting the two cities. Now, the bridges are evolving again, as the cities

Walkshop: Retrofitting Streets in Historic Highland Park

Walkshop
Join a walking tour of the Highland Park neighborhood of Roxbury. We’ll talk about the area's history and examine new traffic-calming changes built as part of the City’s Neighborhood Slow Streets program. Highlights will include Eliot Square, home to the

Walkshop: South Boston Seaport District

Walkshop
Tour the South Boston Seaport District and discover Boston’s newest neighborhood. Since the Big Dig project, the South Boston Seaport District has evolved from an industrial waterfront to a dense redevelopment of commercial and residential uses, including the Boston Convention

Walkshop: Bikes and Boats and Planes, Oh My! A Journey Down the East Boston Greenway

Walkshop
East Boston is in the midst of rapid transformation, as shipyards and vacant factory sites give way to luxury condos and revitalized greenspaces. Across the harbor from downtown, the neighborhood faces impacts from climate change and is uniquely disconnected from

Walkshop: Exploring Chinatown

Walkshop
Join this walking tour with community transportation and climate action leaders, as well as City of Boston Environment Department staff, to discuss the intersection of climate and transportation planning in Chinatown. We'll also explore how economic revitalization efforts related to the

Walkshop: Love That Dirty Water: Boston’s Harborwalk

Walkshop
As Boston cleaned up its polluted harbor in the 1980's, a team of civic rock stars leveraged colonial laws to create requirements for public paths along the waterfront. The result was Boston’s Harborwalk, a near-continuous, 43-mile linear park along the

Walkshop: The Emerald Necklace

Walkshop
The Emerald Necklace is a seven-mile linear park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a landscape architect, journalist, abolitionist and sanitary commissioner whose writings helped inspire the creation of the National Park System. In this tour, we'll bike to one of

Walkshop: People Before Highways: Southwest Corridor

Walkshop
Learn about the rich history of Boston's transportation and housing activism. We’ll tour the precedent-setting Orange line corridor, and hear from one of the nation's top scholars of the “people before highways” movement, Dr. Karilyn Crockett. We’ll discuss the history

Walkshop: The Big Dig and the Rose Kennedy Greenway (Plus an Island and a Bridge)

Walkshop
Learn how Boston buried an interstate highway and built a world-class park over it. On this tour, we’ll walk along the Greenway, stopping at key sections of the project to do a deep dive on how the streets and sidewalks

Walkshop: A Biking Tour of Commonwealth Avenue

Walkshop
Explore parts of Commonwealth Avenue (or “Comm Ave,” as the locals call it), a city street traveled by 100,000+ people each day by foot, bicycle, trolley, bus, and motor vehicle. The group will traverse a suite of bike facility designs

Walkshop: A Downtown for People: Repurposing Streets for Plazas and Pedestrian Spaces

Walkshop
New shared streets and plazas are popping up across Boston’s reinvigorated downtown pedestrian zone. Join us for a tour of tactical plazas using paint, planters, moveable seating and other creative elements, and check out others that have jumped from tactical

Friday, Sep 09

Friday, Sep 09 - 9:30 am - 12:15 pm (26 Events)

Walkshop: New Neighborhoods, New Connections

Walkshop

Walkshop: The Real Bike Rooms of Boston

Walkshop
It’s been over ten years since Boston established minimum guidelines for bicycle parking in new developments. But all bike rooms are not created equal. In 2019, we revisited our guidelines–comparing ourselves to peer cities, surveying users, visiting bike rooms, and

Walkshop: A Journey to the Center of the Street: Center-Running Bus Lanes on Columbus Avenue

Walkshop
Side-running bus lanes are great, but moving bus lanes to the center of the street removes conflicts and helps bus service reach its full potential. On this walkshop, we’ll visit the Columbus Avenue project, a collaboration between the City of Boston

Walkshop: Bike, Scoot or Walk Boston’s Best

Walkshop
Explore the latest, greatest and safest bicycle infrastructure in Boston. We’ll start with the Harvard Bridge, where advocates partnered with the state DOT to use traffic cones to install a 4-to-2 road diet for the busiest bicycle route in the state.

Walkshop: Western Avenue, River Street and the Carl Barron Plaza

Walkshop
Join us for a tour of Western Avenue, which received the “Best Bicycle Lane of the Year” award from PeopleForBikes in 2015. We’ll talk about community engagement processes, and how neighbors and city officials were brought on board to support

Walkshop: Vision Zero Corridor Tour: College Avenue and Powder House Circle

Walkshop
How can a functioning road diet be applied to a high-volume traffic circle? Join City project managers on a tour of Somerville’s College Avenue corridor, which is only 40’ wide but handles 200+ bus trips per day. We’ll examine aggressive

Walkshop: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in East Somerville

Walkshop
The legacy of America’s highway-building era weighs heavily on the East Somerville community, which features dense, mixed-income neighborhoods burdened by particulate pollution, unhealthy noise levels and disproportionate frequency and severity of traffic crashes. On this tour, we’ll speak with local

Walkshop: Union Square: Organizing Public and Private Investment

Walkshop
Join us for a tour of Union Square, Somerville’s historic and future downtown, as well as a key center of civic life, international culture and the arts economy. In order to make the case for the MBTA Green Line light rail

Walkshop: New Neighborhoods: Somerville’s Assembly Square

Walkshop
Connecting new development districts to the existing urban and social fabric can be challenging. On this tour, we’ll wander the streets and public spaces of Somerville’s Assembly Square neighborhood, a 100-acre planned development district on the banks of the Mystic

Walkshop: Upping the Ante: Quick-Build BRT Solutions for Broadway in Winter Hill

Walkshop
Mega-projects alone can’t solve the urgent mobility challenges facing our communities. While MBTA Green Line light rail construction was underway in Somerville in 2019, the City simultaneously installed a ½-mile long, bi-directional, all-day bus lane on a major transit corridor

Walkshop: Rail with Trail: The Somerville Community Path Extension

Walkshop
Experience the brand-new Somerville Community Path Extension, a dramatic two-mile shared-use path running alongside an active rail corridor through the heart of New England’s densest municipality. Learn how grassroots and official advocacy created a viable funding strategy for the Path

Walkshop: Reimagining Shared Space in Cambridge’s Cultural District

Walkshop
Take a walk through Central Square, Cambridge’s only Cultural District and Business Improvement District. Central Square is a neighborhood in flux, known locally as a cultural destination and bookended by world-class institutions of higher learning. It’s a crossroads of the

Walkshop: Urban Transit and Bike Streets in Cambridge

Walkshop
Massachusetts Avenue is the transportation “spine” of the Boston region. In recent years, Cambridge has redesigned two sections of “Mass Ave” to prioritize sustainable transportation. Our WalkShop will take us through these two sections, which have markedly different characteristics. South Mass

Walkshop: Managing Growth and Density in Kendall Square

Walkshop
Kendall Square has been called the densest square mile of innovation on the planet. Its information technology, social media, genomic research and biomedical research companies attract thousands of employees and visitors. Many of these organizations have relationships with MIT and

Walkshop: Two Communities, Two Bridges, Connected by Bikes

Walkshop
Boston and Cambridge have been peering at each other over the Charles River for three hundred years. First, horse carriages and later trains plied over the bridges connecting the two cities. Now, the bridges are evolving again, as the cities

Walkshop: Pathways in New Mobility

Walkshop
What is a green job? Who gets them? Come with us on a journey to look at three programs working with the City of Boston that bring these questions to life. Take the Orange Line to Roxbury Crossing and visit

Walkshop: South Boston Seaport District

Walkshop
Tour the South Boston Seaport District and discover Boston’s newest neighborhood. Since the Big Dig project, the South Boston Seaport District has evolved from an industrial waterfront to a dense redevelopment of commercial and residential uses, including the Boston Convention

Walkshop: Bikes and Boats and Planes, Oh My! A Journey Down the East Boston Greenway

Walkshop
East Boston is in the midst of rapid transformation, as shipyards and vacant factory sites give way to luxury condos and revitalized greenspaces. Across the harbor from downtown, the neighborhood faces impacts from climate change and is uniquely disconnected from

Walkshop: Exploring Chinatown

Walkshop
Join this walking tour with community transportation and climate action leaders, as well as City of Boston Environment Department staff, to discuss the intersection of climate and transportation planning in Chinatown. We'll also explore how economic revitalization efforts related to

Walkshop: Love That Dirty Water: Boston’s Harborwalk

Walkshop
As Boston cleaned up its polluted harbor in the 1980's, a team of civic rock stars leveraged colonial laws to create requirements for public paths along the waterfront. The result was Boston’s Harborwalk, a near-continuous, 43-mile linear park along the

Walkshop: The Emerald Necklace

Walkshop
The Emerald Necklace is a seven-mile linear park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a landscape architect, journalist, abolitionist and sanitary commissioner whose writings helped inspire the creation of the National Park System. In this tour, we'll bike to one of

Walkshop: People Before Highways: Southwest Corridor

Walkshop
Learn about the rich history of Boston's transportation and housing activism. We’ll tour the precedent-setting Orange line corridor, and hear from one of the nation's top scholars of the “people before highways” movement, Dr. Karilyn Crockett. We’ll discuss the history

Walkshop: The Big Dig and the Rose Kennedy Greenway (Plus an Island and a Bridge)

Walkshop
Learn how Boston buried an interstate highway and built a world-class park over it. On this tour, we’ll walk along the Greenway, stopping at key sections of the project to do a deep dive on how the streets and sidewalks were

Walkshop: A Biking Tour of Commonwealth Avenue

Walkshop
Explore parts of Commonwealth Avenue (or “Comm Ave,” as the locals call it), a city street traveled by 100,000+ people each day by foot, bicycle, trolley, bus, and motor vehicle. The group will traverse a suite of bike facility designs

Walkshop: A Downtown Biking Tour

Walkshop
Gain firsthand knowledge of Boston's network of protected bike lanes, both existing and planned, by riding them with us. Pedal through historic neighborhoods, areas changed by urban renewal, and see the oldest remaining street network in the county. Staff from

Walkshop: A Downtown for People: Repurposing Streets for Plazas and Pedestrian Spaces

Walkshop
New shared streets and plazas are popping up across Boston’s reinvigorated downtown pedestrian zone. Join us for a tour of tactical plazas using paint, planters, moveable seating and other creative elements, and check out others that have jumped from tactical

Saturday, Sep 10

Saturday, Sep 10 - 8:30 am - 12:00 pm (8 Events)

Walkshop: Regional Bus Infrastructure

Walkshop
In the past six years, the Boston region has gone from having about two miles of bus lanes to over 25 miles. These changes have transformed how the public engages with the bus system. On this Walkshop, we'll tour many

Walkshop: Neighborways: Somerville’s Back-Streets Mobility Strategy

Walkshop
Somerville began reclaiming its residential streets for neighbors and family bicycling routes with low-cost, temporary interventions. On this bike tour, learn how art empowered residents to get involved in the process, and how the treatments influenced future designs that guide

Walkshop: Cycling Ahead of Her Time: Kittie Knox and Historic Cycling in Boston and Cambridge

Walkshop
On this bicycle tour, we'll learn about Kittie Knox, a biracial female bicycling pioneer who broke down barriers during the “bicycle boom” of the late 1800s. Kittie was associated with the Riverside Cycle Club, an all-Black cycle club in Cambridge, and

Walkshop: Exploring Cambridge's Bicycle Network Vision

Walkshop
Join us on bike to learn how Cambridge’s "Bicycle Network Vision” has served as a blueprint for a system that supports people of all ages, abilities and identities. We’ll visit various parts of the network, including off-road paths, separated bicycle

Walkshop: Walking Tour of North Point

Walkshop
Located at the intersection of Somerville, Cambridge and Boston, North Point has become one of the urban core's hottest and fastest-growing neighborhoods. Originally freight yards and warehouses, the area has become a model of adaptive reuse as new high-rise residences,

Walkshop: Green Line Extension (GLX) Tour

Walkshop
Check out the Green Line Extension (GLX), the first rail addition to the MBTA system in 30 years. The project includes the construction of a new rail maintenance facility, a parallel multi-use path, and six new stations along two branches

Walkshop: Kayaking the Charles River and the Dam Locks

Walkshop
Hop into a kayak and paddle with us along the Charles River Dam. We’ll visit the Gridley Locks–water channels–and experience the engineering up close, getting a first-hand sense of where the river meets the harbor. We’ll also visit the Kendall

Walkshop: A Tour of Rail Boston

Walkshop
Whether it’s the early streetcar suburbs, the presence of America’s oldest subway, or what was once the world’s busiest rail terminal, the form and structure of Boston was cemented by rail. This tour will travel through Boston’s transit history and